Dr. Fauci Busts These COVID Vaccine Myths
With more than 50% of the USA having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, now the mission is to convince those remaining to get theirs. Part of that is fighting the disinformation that's out there and countering it with trusted science, according to those leading the charge. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Cameron Webb sat down Friday with the Commercial Appeal's Corinne Kennedy to bust some vaccine myths. Read on to see if they address any of your concerns in the following slides—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Had COVID and Didn't Know It.
Dr. Fauci Says the Vaccines Have No Impact on Fertility
Dr. Fauci was asked if the vaccines can impact your fertility. "There is no evidence whatsoever that the vaccines have any impact on fertility," he answered. "There's not only no evidence that it happens, there's no biological reason to believe that it could even happen. So that's the first thing. The situation with pregnant women are, there are still trials going on to look at the safety in pregnant women. But if you look at the now over 70,000 pregnancies that have occurred in people who are vaccinated, the data look like there are no obvious red flag signals, the CDC follows this closely. And right now, even though there's no formal recommendation, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology said that vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant women. The thing that's important that people need to realize that the effect of COVID-19 on pregnant women is quite severe, not only for the health of the woman, but for the ultimate outcome of the pregnancy."
Dr. Fauci Said The Vaccine Does Not Cause Prion Disease
Kennedy mentioned a rumor that the COVID vaccine has a link to Prion Disease, which occurs "when normal prion protein, found on the surface of many cells, becomes abnormal and clump in the brain, causing brain damage," according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. "That's just another example of disinformation," said Dr. Fauci. "I mean, people hear things, it's written by someone who gets an anecdotal story about something, and then it gets propagated. And before you know it, it gets on the social media and people start saying, 'Well, I saw that on social media. What does that mean?' So with you seeing on social media, there's nothing wrong with asking the question that the person that you just referred to did, but the answer is a very strong, 'No,' there's no connection whatsoever, whatsoever between vaccination and Prion disease."
Dr. Webb Said Talk to Your Provider if You've Had a Previous Reaction to a Vaccine
The doctors were asked: Should someone "be concerned about taking the COVID-19 vaccine if they've had previous reactions to other vaccines." "Depends on the kinds of reactions that they've had," answered Dr. Webb. "So this is a conversation that should always start with your own provider, physician, a nurse practitioner, whoever it may be, have that conversation about your risks. We know that folks have had severe anaphylaxis react to these severe allergic reactions. Those are the ones that we've said, pay a little closer attention there, make sure that this is done in close consultation with a provider, take some extra time waiting after you've received the vaccine to make sure everything's okay and do it in a safe environment. But I think that by and large, for most folks, the conversation has been with their provider, that they are appropriate to get vaccines. So we think that for the great majority of folks that that should be safe."
Dr. Fauci Says If You Have a History of Being Allergic to Food or Drugs, the Vaccine is Safe
Fauci was asked that if you have an allergy to a different drug—say, penicillin—should you skip the COVID vaccine. "The answer is no," Fauci answered. "The only thing…is that if you've had a history of anaphylactic reactions, you want to be in a place that can treated, but people who have allergies to foods, to drugs, to a variety of other things that you have allergies for, that is not a contra-indication to get vaccinated. You still should get vaccinated."
Dr. Webb Said the Vaccine Was Studied, Not Rushed
Why take the vaccine since it was put out so fast? "I think the urgency is that we've got a pandemic that's—we've lost too many lives here in the United States, right?" answered Dr. Webb. "Over 560,000 more folks are not here today because, in large part because of this virus, because of this pandemic. And so that's the urgency, that's the reason why these vaccines received this emergency use authorization, is the reason why we feel like the benefit of these vaccines—it's so important, but keep in mind, it's not that these were rushed. It's not that there's a lack of information on their safety or their efficacy—quite the opposite. In fact, they've been under a microscope since they're first introduced. This is building on two decades worth of research, right? So it's not something that we just started working on at the beginning of his pandemic."
How to Stay Safe Until this Pandemic Ends
Follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.