Considering the COVID-19 vaccine? Here are FAQs that get you the facts about the shot
COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — Making the decision to get the COVID-19 vaccine is confusing and a lot of people have questions about the shot and virus itself.
NBC2 spoke with the Collier County Department of Health to tell you what you need to know in order to stop the spread of misinformation and get you the facts.
Here is our entire interview with Kristine Hollingsworth, a spokesperson for DOH-Collier, so you can read what she has to say:
What are the side effects?
KH: “Side effects are usually mild, as of May 2021, over 1.3 billion COVID vaccines have been administered. Side effects include soreness of the arm, fatigue the next day, nausea, and exhaustion. However, the side effects go away within anywhere from 24 to up to 72 hours.”
How does the mRNA work?
KH: “There have been mRNA Vaccines and the science has been studied for several years, this is just a new mRNA vaccine.”
Do any of the vaccines administered use a live virus? Plus, do we know how this will affect a women’s fertility or pregnancy?
KH: “mRNA vaccines are not live viruses, they also have not been shown to have any long-term effects. This includes long-term effects on fertility or long-term effects on pregnancy.”
Do any animal products make up the ingredients of the vaccines administered in the United States?
KH: “These vaccines are safe — mRNA vaccines actually teach your body to create antibodies to the COVID-19 virus, there are no animal products and all of the products in the vaccine are safe for human use.”
What should we know about how our body reacts to getting the vaccine?
KH: “mRNA vaccines deliver information to your body and it allows your body to create a protein that has an antibody – it helps your body create antibodies to help fight against the virus.”
Can you be more specific when it comes to what side effects have been documented since the beginning when vaccine administration began?
KH: “If you have side effects, it is your body’s immune response to the vaccine — the vaccine leaves your body within 72 hours. So the side effects that you’re feeling are actually your body building those antibodies to help protect you against the virus.”
What seems to be the biggest issue when it comes to people going out and receiving the vaccine?
KH: “We understand that there is a lot of mistrust out there as well regarding not only the vaccine but also the pandemic as a whole, a great example is that back in July we had been told that we are crushing COVID and we can take off our masks and now as I’m sitting here today we are wearing masks again.
“The best analogy that I can give you is that when a pilot takes off he tells you that you must wear your seatbelt until you get to a certain height, however sometimes a pilot does go through turbulence and that seatbelt light comes back on. That is the same thing that we are experiencing with COVID-19 remember this is a novel, new virus.”
Can you be more specific when it comes to the effects on fertility or pregnancy — I understand that is a big concern for many people?
KH: “mRNA vaccines do not affect fertility, these mRNA vaccines deliver information to your body so that you can create antibodies against the virus.”
Should patients who have COVID-19 take Ivermectin to treat this virus?
KH: “We understand for example that there has been an increase in people buying ivermectin to treat COVID and self-medicate at home. Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug usually used for animals including horses and dogs. This is not something humans should use in order to treat COVID at home. This is something that doctors do not recommend.”
What can you tell us about breakthrough cases? Since you can potentially contract COVID-19 even with the vaccine — we understand people have been hesitant to get the vaccine.
KH: “The best way to end this pandemic is to receive the vaccine, it has been proven to be 95% effective but we have never said it will give you full 100% immunity against COVID. However, the efficacy rate is extremely good it will help stop hospitalizations it will help slow the pandemic it will help prevent deaths from COVID-19.
“Remember that this is a virus, it does not pick or choose its victims, it does not care about your political affiliation, it does not care about your race, your religion, or your age.
“The COVID-19 vaccine has about a 95% efficacy rate, that leaves about 5% where you could get a breakthrough case. However, as with most vaccines, there are breakthrough cases. Influenza, as well as varicella, have breakthrough cases this is because no vaccine that is currently on the market is 100% effective against illness.”
How does receiving the vaccine help the community as a whole? Will it prevent a person from getting severe COVID-19 symptoms?
KH: “The purpose of the vaccine is to help slow the spread, help minimize hospitalizations and prevent death from the virus.”
Is it possible for a person to contract COVID-19 any time before they are considered “fully vaccinated”?
KH: “Remember, from the time of your first dose you must wait 6 weeks to get that 95% immunity.”
If many people do recover from COVID-19 — should people still be worried about dying? What if a person believed they are healthy enough to fight it instead of getting the vaccine?
KH: “One thing that we hear all the time is that it’s 95% of people recover, or 98% recover or 99% of people recover, remember there’s over 240 million people who live in the United States of America, if you take even one percent of that, it is a very high percentage of people who will not recover and who will pass from COVID-19.”
Since it’s a new virus — can you address people’s concerns about the long-term side effects of the vaccine. What about side effects from actually contracting COVID-19?
KH: “Again this is a novel virus, we don’t know all of the side effects that could happen from COVID, but we do know that up to a third of people who have COVID-19 and recover have long-term effects. Which you do not get long-term effects from the vaccine.”
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