Intermountain Healthcare’s Simple Q&A Format Set Up to Help People Better Understand COVID Vaccines by Addressing Common Concerns

Story appears courtesy of the Intermountain Healthcare Blog.

The COVID-19 vaccines are currently being administered throughout Nevada, the United States, and the world. At this time more than 44 million doses in 51 countries of one of the COVID-19 vaccines have been administered. In the United States, 14 million people have received the vaccine since December 14, 2020, with an average of 776,901 doses being administered per day last week. Many people, including frontline healthcare workers, have already received one or both doses of either the Pfizer or Modern vaccines for SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China in late 2019.

Get informed about COVID vaccines.

COVID-19 as you know has impaired our daily lives, taking away many activities we were previously able to participate in without fear of catching or transmitting the virus. It has killed ~400k people in the United States and ~2 million people globally. It has also directly affected the economy and caused many people to lose their jobs, their homes, and their way of life.

With vaccination, we have a chance to safely achieve herd immunity. This would allow our southern Nevada community to begin rebuilding and returning to normal. But we can’t achieve herd immunity without the majority of our community’s help.

You may have already heard from friends, family members, or posts online about some COVID-19 myths. These myths may cause you to hesitate to receive the vaccine. The team at Intermountain Healthcare wants to provide full transparency about the COVID-19 vaccine.

We’ve included some common myths that are currently circulating and answers from Dr. Judith Ford, Medical Director – Clinical Quality. Dr. Ford has spent the past year studying the literature on COVID-19 and has become one of Intermountain in Nevada’s COVID-19 experts.

Myth #1: The COVID-19 vaccine uses a new vaccine technology and isn’t safe.

Fact: While mRNA vaccines are new, mRNA-based therapeutics have been used since 2014 and cellular biology of mRNA is well understood. In fact, research on mRNA technology has been studied since the early 1990s.

Myth #2: The COVID-19 vaccine was “fast tracked” by the Pfizer and Moderna and therefore they didn’t have adequate data on the safety of this vaccine.

Fact: All standard phases of vaccine development were followed in the development of the vaccine. The process normally done in order was completed at the same time to make the creation and delivery to the public faster. Safety data on the vaccine is complete and adequate. All data is available to the public through the FDA website.

Myth #3: If I get the vaccine now, I will be a guinea pig. Let others get it first.

Fact: As of January 13, 2021, 10.8 million Americans have received one of the vaccines that the FDA approved for emergency use to individuals over the age of 18.

Myth #4: The vaccines are made from human, fetal, or animal products.

Fact: There is no human, fetal, or animal products used in the manufacturing or production of the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine.

Myth #5: The vaccines were actually designed to insert a microchip or perform gene therapy on religious persons by the government and Bill Gates.

Fact: These concepts are not founded in known technologies. The two FDA EUA vaccines were developed by two different and well respected pharmaceutical companies. The video that claims to be of Bill Gates has been debunked as being manipulated.

Myth #6: The vaccines will affect my fertility.

Fact: There is no long term data regarding fertility after vaccination, however the mRNA fragments degrade quickly and do not interact with the DNA in our cells. There is no scientific basis for this concern.

Myth #7: The vaccine will weaken my immunity to other things.

Fact: There has never been a vaccine that weakens immunity. The point of a vaccine is to build immunity.

Myth #8: There won’t be enough vaccine available for my second dose, so what is the point of getting the first?

Fact: The supply of vaccine comes from Federal Government to the State of Nevada to Intermountain Healthcare. While the delivery of vaccine has been slower than we would like, there will be enough supply for 2 full doses of the vaccine as planned.

Myth #9: The recovery rate of COVID-19 for young health people is high, better to take my chances with the disease. 

Fact: While 80% of infected patients have a “mild” disease of 7-10 days that does not require hospitalization, as many as 40% of infected patients report symptoms 4 weeks after their illness including chronic headaches, trouble concentrating, sleep difficulties, and fatigue. We also know that infected people shed virus for 1-2 days prior to having symptoms, infecting others before they know they are sick.

By getting the vaccine when you are offered the chance to receive it, you are protecting those you love and our community by being vaccinated. Conspiracy theories and myths originate from lack of understanding. Believing the myths can harm you and your loved ones. Trusting the science is critical for southern Nevada to be able to begin to recover from the pandemic.

Become better informed about your health and healthcare by reading the Intermountain Healthcare blog.