We are closing in on two full years sharing our world with COVID-19 and, while conditions have improved in many ways, the dangers and fears surrounding the risks of contracting the virus have not gone anywhere. People are fearful for their health and safety in much the same ways we were in early 2020. There is light at the end of this tunnel however thanks to the rapidly developed COVID-19 vaccines that were developed during 2020 and rolled out for distribution in early 2021 such as the vaccine from Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson.
Unfortunately, despite the overwhelmingly successful clinical trials and real world results being reported from immunization with these vaccines, there are many misperceptions and fears surrounding the new vaccines. This is understandable when you consider that two of the three above mentioned vaccines utilize a newly introduced vaccine technology. Conspiracy theories, misinformation and smear campaigns spread through the internet like wildfire in opposition of these new vaccines largely showing the public’s distrust in the new technology.
Let’s ignore our friend’s Facebook posts for a few minutes and consider some information gathered by the international science community.
COVID-19 vaccines are safe
Despite the rapid development timeline, all efforts were made to ensure the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine development process. Decades of research went on behind the scenes even before rapid research and development kicked in 2020. This is to say that, despite what you may have read on Facebook, the vaccine against COVID-19 is not experimental. Clinical trials were conducted at all required stages. The vaccines have passed extensive testing and monitoring. US vaccine safety monitoring has been the most rigorous in history for COVID-19 vaccines, and it will continue to be so.
COVID-19 vaccines are effective
Millions of lives are saved annually with vaccines. Ever had Polio? You can thank vaccines for eradicating the poliovirus throughout most of the world. Vaccines have been immensely successful throughout history and Moderna and Pfizer’s newly developed MRNA technology is no exception. The Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are effective. Any of these three leading vaccines can prevent you from contracting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Despite COVID-19 being a contagious virus, vaccination can prevent serious illnesses. Additionally, COVID-19 vaccination can protect others around you as a result of your body’s immune system effectively fighting off the virus and therefore making it less likely for you to spread the virus.
COVID-19’s delta variant spreads more quickly and causes more infections than its early forms. The strain has the potential to cause more severe illnesses than the prior strains. As long as people get vaccinated against COVID-19, including this variant, their risk of infection goes down. Although this variant is more transmissible than previous strains of the virus, vaccines continue to be highly effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths. When fully vaccinated people get infected with this variant, they seem to remain infectious for less time.
Upon being entirely immune against COVID-19, you’ll be able to resume many of your activities. In close public settings with substantial or high transmission levels, the CDC recommends fully vaccinated individuals wear a face mask.
It may be worth it for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, especially if they are immunosuppressed or at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill or living with someone who is not vaccinated. Seniors and patients with certain conditions, including diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, are at the highest risk for serious illness.
It is considered a complete vaccination when two weeks have passed since receiving the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna. While you are getting vaccinated, make sure you continue to use all the tools available to protect yourself and others.
Vaccines offer the best protection
It is recommended to get vaccinated whether or not you have had COVID-19. Research indicates that fully vaccinated people are better protected than those who do not receive COVID-19. According to one study, people who have had COVID-19 are twice as likely to get it again if they are unvaccinated.
People who do not have the COVID-19 vaccine continue to be at risk. The symptoms of COVID-19 are severe enough to require hospitalization, and some people experience permanent health problems after getting infected for weeks or even months. The consequences of infection can be endless, even for people who have no symptoms when they were infected.
Vaccines induce immunity
The CDC continuously reviews evidence and updates guidelines about COVID-19 vaccines, as there is still a lot to learn. Vaccinations do not guarantee long-term immunity. COVID-19 has caused many deaths and serious illnesses.
Your loved ones can also become seriously ill if you become infected with COVID-19. A COVID-19 vaccine is the most effective method of protecting yourself. A whole vaccine may not cover some people if they have a medical condition or take medications that weaken their immune system. As a precaution, they should continue to wear a mask that fits well on their face until they hear otherwise from a healthcare provider.
Why is a booster recommended?
Even though a booster can often be a replica of the first vaccination, variations may exist. The vaccine may be tailored to account for variations to the virus. The idea of COVID-19 booster shots is not new. Researchers have acknowledged the potential need for booster shots since the first vaccines were introduced last December.
There is increasing urgency to discuss booster vaccinations as we witness an increase in infections from the Delta mutations. Health officials report a low but growing number of breakthrough cases among vaccinated individuals that are of increasing concern though mild or asymptomatic.
CDC recommends that certain people with weakened immune systems, such as transplant recipients, receive a third dose of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. This includes Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. The mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, after two doses, may not provide sufficient immunity to people who have weakened immune systems. An additional amount may boost their protection against the COVID-19 virus.
In cases where the type of vaccine provided is unknown, either brand can be used as the third dose of mRNA COVID-19. Researchers haven’t done enough research to determine if people with weakened immune systems who received a COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson also responded well after getting an additional shot. It is intended to boost people who might not have experienced enough immune response after their initial dose of mRNA COVID-19. If an individual’s immune response weakens over time, a booster dose may be recommended.
A virus-fighting antibody waned over time, as is usual, after being stimulated by a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine efficacy can be measured by checking antibody levels in the blood. Research has shown that the level of protection remains above average six months after a second vaccination with a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
Visit us at A-Z Primary Clinic and Walk-In in Spring, Texas for more information about getting vaccinated against covid-19. We are happy to support our community by providing the best patient care in Spring!
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LOCATION UPDATE! We are still located in the same building however we have recently moved our clinic to the rear parking lot entrance. If you have any trouble finding us please call our office at (281) 801-4286.