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COVID-19 Update

July 19, 2021
by TammyS | For Seniors
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COVID-19 Vaccine Update and Myths and Truths About the Vaccine* 

If Seniors Helping Seniors can help you in any way, please call (772) 492-8381 

The United States is in a predicament right now.  Not only is COVID-19 still spreading among the unvaccinated, but we now have the Delta variant that is rapidly spreading around the world.  We cannot reach herd immunity unless 70% or more of the population have received the vaccine or have survived the virus.  This varies from disease to disease, as the more contagious a disease is, the greater the proportion of those immune to the disease must be in order to halt its spread.  

It is called Herd Immunity because it occurs only after a large portion of the community (the herd) becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of the disease from person to person unlikely.  The remaining 30% of the population or herd that can still get the disease is called the threshold proportion.  Generally, if the proportion of those immune to the disease is greater than the threshold proportion, then the disease will decline.  This is called the Herd Immunity Threshold. 

How do we get to herd immunity?  Simple – Infection and Vaccines. 

  • Infection can lead to herd immunity if enough people in the herd have contracted the disease, recovered from it, and have developed enough antibodies to protect against future infection.  However, relying on this method has serious problems: 

  • It is not clear how long having the disease protects one from getting reinfected.  Even though you may have developed antibodies, you may not have enough of them to ensure you will not become reinfected. 

  • CDC states that 70% of the U.S. population (over 200 million people) would have to get sick AND recover from COVID-19 in order to halt its progress.  We all know from current statistics that well over 600,000 people have already died from the virus in the United States alone, overwhelming our healthcare system and putting its workers at serious risk. 

  • Vaccines, on the other hand, create herd immunity against diseases by providing antibodies and without causing illness or long-term complications that result from the virus.  

  • Let’s not forget that vaccines have successfully controlled many highly contagious and virulent diseases such as measles, chicken pox, polio, rubella, diphtheria, and many, many more.  This also helps to protect the population that cannot be vaccinated, such as newborns, those with compromised immune systems, etc. 

  • FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at protecting against severe illness requiring hospitalization and death due to COVID-19. Even if it isn’t currently possible to stop transmission of the COVID-19 virus, the vaccines are allowing people to better be able to live with the virus. 

  • If you’re fully vaccinated, you can return to doing activities you might not have been able to do because of the pandemic, including not wearing a mask or social distancing in any setting — except where required by a rule or law. 

Myths and facts about COVID-19: 

Myth: If I get the COVID vaccine, I can make someone else sick just by being near them.   

Truth: You cannot give anyone COVID-19 just by getting the shot (viral shedding), as the vaccine does not contain the live virus.  It contains a type of material that our bodies already use to give the body instructions for making antibodies against the virus. 

Myth: I cannot have the vaccine if I plan to become pregnant one day because it will make me sterile. 

Truth: There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta.  There is also no evidence that female or male fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines. 

Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine will alter my DNA. 

Truth: COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. Both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.  The genetic material never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our own DNA is stored. 

Myth: Getting the COVID-19 vaccine will cause me to test positive on a viral test. 

Truth: None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.  If your body develops an immune response to vaccination, which is the goal, you may test positive on antibody tests, indicating that you have some level of protection against the virus. 

Myth: The vaccine contains a microchip that the government is going to use to track me. 

Truth:  The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain microchips. 

 

If you have not yet had a COVID-19 vaccine, please take the following steps to reduce the risk of infection: 

  • Avoid close contact (within about 6 feet) with anyone who is sick or has symptoms. 

  • Keep a six-foot distance between yourself and others. This is especially important if you have a higher risk of serious illness. Keep in mind some people may have the COVID-19 virus and spread it to others, even though they may not have symptoms. 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 

  • Wear a face mask while indoors in public places and outdoors where there is a high risk of COVID-19 transmission, such as at a crowded event or large gathering. 

  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze and then throw away the used tissue. 

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. 

  • Avoid sharing dishes, glasses, bedding, and other household items if you're sick. 

  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily, such as doorknobs, light switches, electronics, and counters. 

  • Stay home from work, school and public areas if you're sick, unless you are going to get medical care. Avoid public transportation, taxis, and ride-sharing if you're sick. 

*This information was compiled, in part, from facts provided by the CDC.  Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC  

 


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