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Real Talk: The COVID Vaccine

Real Talk: The COVID-19 Vaccine

In a time when so many are asking, "Should I get the vaccine?", we turned to some of our trusted friends in the healthcare community to help share their view points on information and misinformation circulating about the COVID-19 vaccine.


All of the statements collected for this post reflect the opinions and perspectives of the following healthcare professionals and are not intended to serve as medical advice or replace your personal journey as it relates to this subject. 

"THE FIRST THING THAT COMES TO MIND IS FOR FOLKS TO KNOW THAT THE VACCINE IS NOT THE LIVE VIRUS.

So, you cannot get the virus from the vaccine. There is also the misconception that the vaccine can change your DNA, the vaccine contains RNA that prompts your body to make antibodies to defend yourself from the virus. Individuals previously infected still can benefit from the vaccine since we do not know how long the natural antibodies/immunity last. I think there is confusion with those who have the vaccine and the conception of invincibility. Although the percentage of vaccinated individuals becoming infected is low, the upside is the vaccine still significantly decreases the comorbidity and mortality from COVID. The same goes for the Delta variant. The Delta variant is now the dominant strain in the U.S.. While studies show the vaccines may be slightly less effective against Delta, they still appear to provide protection against severe adverse outcomes from the virus."

- Antonia, Family Medicine PA

Meet Antonia
Meet Antonia

"THE FIRST THING THAT COMES TO MIND IS FOR FOLKS TO KNOW THAT THE VACCINE IS NOT THE LIVE VIRUS.

So, you cannot get the virus from the vaccine. There is also the misconception that the vaccine can change your DNA, the vaccine contains RNA that prompts your body to make antibodies to defend yourself from the virus. Individuals previously infected still can benefit from the vaccine since we do not know how long the natural antibodies/immunity last. I think there is confusion with those who have the vaccine and the conception of invincibility. Although the percentage of vaccinated individuals becoming infected is low, the upside is the vaccine still significantly decreases the comorbidity and mortality from COVID. The same goes for the Delta variant. The Delta variant is now the dominant strain in the U.S.. While studies show the vaccines may be slightly less effective against Delta, they still appear to provide protection against severe adverse outcomes from the virus."

- Antonia, Family Medicine PA

Meet Doctor Jess Gould

"AS THE DELTA VARIANT RISES, THERE ARE A FEW COMMON QUESTIONS I HAVE RUN INTO AS A DOCTOR:

1) I have heard of a lot of breakthrough cases of infection with the Delta variant (infection despite getting the vaccine), so why bother getting vaccinated?

I am a hospital medicine physician, meaning I care for COVID patients when they are hospitalized. Over 90-95% of our hospitalized COVID patients have not been vaccinated and come in very sick with difficulty breathing. They are more likely to need long hospitalization, supplemental oxygen, ventilation and more likely to die. Most breakthrough cases (in vaccinated patients) lead to mild disease only, which may range from asymptomatic to a flu-like illness, so these people are unlikely to need hospitalization and even less likely to die.

2) If I already had COVID, why should I get the vaccine?

Many studies are now being published showing clear data that vaccinated people have a greater number of antibodies to fight off COVID and a longer duration of immunity. Antibody protection after getting COVID infection decreases over time and so it is possible to get infected again after a few months. Though antibody protection slowly decreases with the vaccinations as well, it is at a slower rate and protects people from severe disease and death BETTER than just having had the virus itself. Data shows that people who have had the disease AND vaccination have higher levels of immunity than in either case alone.

3) I have heard concerns about fertility with the vaccination.

This is a FALSE myth about the vaccination. As a woman, physician and someone who had to do IVF (before and during COVID), I have immense empathy for those fearing fertility issues; however, this vaccine is SAFE for pregnant women and for those hoping to conceive in the future. The misinformation comes from a false social media report that claimed the spike protein in the vaccine is the same as this spike protein used in placenta development. This is FALSE and the vaccine has ZERO effect on ability to conceive or to carry a health baby to term. Rather, I have seen COVID cause disastrous illness in pregnant women, who are more likely to get severe, life-threatening infection. For this reason, the vaccine is recommended by the CDC, World Health Organization, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine." 

- Doctor Jess, Hospital Medicine Physician

"WHEN IT COMES TO GETTING VACCINATED, I THINK IT'S SIMPLE.
 

When the Polio vaccine came around, had no one gotten vaccinated then, the Polio virus would have never been eradicated; however, I also think that it’s okay if people are apprehensive and scared of the unknown when it comes to getting vaccinated, and it should be a natural choice to get it— not a forced one. We are all capable of making the choices that we feel are right for ourselves and our families, so in the end, people should be able to choose what works best for them in the long run. I do wish with the new variants coming out, more information was given on the effectiveness of the vaccine and the longevity of protection you have once you receive it.”

- Outreach Nurse (Anonymous)

Meet Kirsten and Mario

"PEOPLE WHO DON'T SEE OR TAKE CARE OF COVID PATIENTS DON'T REALIZE HOW BAD IT IS.

Caring for COVID Delta patients has been more complicated and burdening on the entire hospital. Our hospital has hit max capacity, and it’s gotten to a point where they’re pulling doctors from other specialties, like GI or cardiology, to cover the COVID patients. Pretty much everyone who is being admitted are those who aren’t vaccinated.”

- Kirsten, BSN, RN

"BESIDES THE DISCOVERY OF PENICILLIN, THIS IS THE NEXT BEST INVENTION IN MEDICINE.

Since the introduction of vaccines, millions of diseases have been prevented and some have been eradicated. The vaccine is safer than Botox. The only ones who should think twice or choose not to get vaccinated are 1) those who have an active infection requiring hospitalization or 2) those with severe anaphylactic allergies to any products in the vaccine.”

- Mario (Kirsten's husband), Infectious Disease MD, MS

"PEOPLE WHO DON'T SEE OR TAKE CARE OF COVID PATIENTS DON'T REALIZE HOW BAD IT IS.

Caring for COVID Delta patients has been more complicated and burdening on the entire hospital. Our hospital has hit max capacity, and it’s gotten to a point where they’re pulling doctors from other specialties, like GI or cardiology, to cover the COVID patients. Pretty much everyone who is being admitted are those who aren’t vaccinated.”

- Kirsten, BSN, RN

"BESIDES THE DISCOVERY OF PENICILLIN, THIS IS THE NEXT BEST INVENTION IN MEDICINE.

Since the introduction of vaccines, millions of diseases have been prevented and some have been eradicated. The vaccine is safer than Botox. The only ones who should think twice or choose not to get vaccinated are 1) those who have an active infection requiring hospitalization or 2) those with severe anaphylactic allergies to any products in the vaccine.”

- Mario (Kirsten's husband), Infectious Disease MD, MS

Meet Kirsten and Mario

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