VACCINE TEAM | Answers to four common ‘vaccine myth’ questions

Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 2:44 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As we continue to watch vaccines roll out across Kentucky, we are here to answer your questions on the vaccine.

Why would someone want the less effective Johnson & Johnson vaccine over ones reportedly more effective?

Johnson and Johnson’s single-dose vaccine is about 66 percent effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19, according to Food and Drug Administration’s scientists.

The Moderna vaccine is considered 94.1 percent effective, and the Pfizer vaccine is 95 percent effective. However, both of those vaccines require two doses.

While the numbers may suggest the J&J candidate isn’t as strong, the vaccines were tested differently making direct comparisons challenging.

Having a third vaccine, especially one that doesn’t need the same specialized equipment to keep it ultra-cold and requires just one dose, is expected to expand access to more Americans wanting vaccination.

When asked a similar question, the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci urged Americans to get whichever vaccine they can as soon as they can.

“This is a race between the virus and getting vaccines into people,” Fauci said. “The longer someone waits to get vaccinated, the better chance the virus has to get a variant or a mutation. So the sooner we get vaccine into the arms of individuals, whatever that vaccine is, once it gets by the FDA, if it’s available to you, get it.”

Isn’t it our right to refuse a COVID-19 test or vaccine?

While someone can refuse to take a COVID-19 test, there are health benefits to being tested so someone can be properly diagnosed and treated for the illness.

Those who refuse to get tested could run into problems if they decide to travel. Major cruise lines require negative test results. All air passengers two years old and over entering the United States must also produce a negative test results before permitted to board their flights. This also applies to Americans when returning home.

Just like the flu vaccine, there is no requirement that someone receive a COVID-19 vaccine. However, it’s important to consider that the vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19 and may keep those who get COVID-19 from getting seriously ill.

Isn’t it our right to visit families in nursing homes without COVID-19 restrictions?

It’s safe to assume most everyone misses the pre-pandemic world and close interaction with loved ones that we all enjoyed.

Older people are higher risk for COVID-19. The virus can more easily spread when people are living close together.

That’s why visitation restrictions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and states were put in place to protect all residents and staff.

In Kentucky, 51.4 percent of all deaths attributed to COVID-19 happened in long term care and other congregate settings.

Without these restrictions, nursing homes could open themselves up to lawsuits for negligence for failing to follow federal and state guidelines to prevent possible COVID-19 infection.

Do the COVID-19 vaccines contain a microchip or alter my DNA?

COVID-19 vaccines do not contain microchips. This idea is based on a false narrative and misinformation campaign waged online, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

The vaccines also do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. The vaccines teach cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the mRNA cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease.

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