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UF Health chief epidemiologist debunks common COVID-19 vaccine myths

Courtesy of UF Health

BY DOUG BENNETT

As the new vaccines developed to combat COVID-19 begin to flow into communities around the country, myths and misinformation are coursing through the general population as well.

In an effort to blunt some of these misperceptions, Nicole M. Iovine, M.D., Ph.D., chief epidemiology officer at University of Florida Health Shands Hospital, addresses some of the more common myths that are percolating on social media and other places.

Myth: The COVID-19 vaccines will make a person more susceptible to other diseases.

Answer: Our immune systems are wonderfully robust and are actually responding to potential disease-causing organisms all the time. So, our immune systems are more than capable of responding to this vaccine while continuing to protect us from all the other potential infections we constantly encounter.

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Myth: Mass vaccinations will promptly end the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answer: The vaccine is our best tool yet for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is important to remember that the vaccine will not end the pandemic on its own. That is because, like all vaccines, it cannot prevent 100% of all infections in vaccinated persons. Although the studies indicate efficacy rates of 90% or more, a small percentage of people will still develop COVID. Also, at this point we do not know if vaccinated people can still transmit the infection to others. We anticipate that we will learn more about this as time passes. Lastly, the vaccine is currently authorized only for people ages 16 and over, so the younger population cannot be vaccinated at this time. As studies in younger populations continue, we hope that more children will be able to be vaccinated.

Myth: The technology that makes the vaccines work will interfere with a person’s DNA.

Answer: All living things make messenger riobonucleic acid, or mRNA, that provides the instructions for our cells to make proteins. mRNA has no ability to integrate or otherwise become part of a person’s DNA. There is nothing special about the mRNA in the COVID-19 vaccine that would allow it to interfere with the DNA in our cells or persist in our bodies.

Myth: If everyone around me is immune due to vaccination or a prior COVID-19 case, I don’t need a vaccine.

Answer: There are several reasons why this is not true.  First, we do not know if a vaccinated person can still transmit the virus to another person. Second, this is a two-vaccine series that takes several weeks after the second dose to generate a full immune response. That means a vaccinated person could still be susceptible to infection and possibly transmit COVID-19 while the immune response develops. Third, like all vaccines, it is not able to prevent COVID-19 infection in 100% of vaccinated people. And while we hope that immunity is long-lasting, it isn’t known if or when a vaccinated person may again become susceptible to infection.

Myth: The vaccines were developed so quickly that the safety and efficacy are questionable.

Answer: Tremendous support and resources have been dedicated to the COVID-19 vaccine effort. That is why it has been able to come to fruition so quickly. It is important to remember that all of the necessary efficacy and safety studies have been completed, just as if the vaccines had taken years to produce. All of the regulatory oversight on vaccine production has also remained unchanged. 

  • Total B.S. from an institution that takes huge grant money from the vaccine pumping Bill Gates foundation. If the COVID vaccine is so safe, why did all the drug companies need full protection from liability lawsuits? Will Dr. Lovine of UF Health guarantee the safety of the vaccines and indemnify personally anybody who suffers adverse reactions to the vaccines? What are the adverse reactions? Normally it takes 10 years to evaluate the potential adverse reactions to a new vaccine. Nobody really knows what the long term consequences of the corona vaccines will be. Dr. Lovine in my opinion sounds like just another hired propagandist from UF Health which is funded by drug companies and the Gates Foundation. UF took grant money from Gates to develop a pro-vaccine propaganda/brainwashing manual as to how to convince people hesitant about a new vaccine to blindly accept it. I read it. It sounds like something from the Nazi propaganda ministry. All this to benefit drug companies which want everybody terrified of a disease that has a 99.8 percent survival rate. Dr. Lovine is right. We have a remarkable immune system. Take care of it and it will take care of you, with a 99.8% certainly. I am 72. No problems. My mother-in-law in NY is 86. No problems. She regularly associates with all her friends in their late 80’s. No masks. No problems. Does this vaccine pumper Dr. Lovine have any advice as to how people can boost their immune system — without drugs? Millions are doing it with great success. If Dr. Lovine ever had to debate Robert Kennedy Jr. about vaccines she would fold her tent and run away weeping. How did man survive on this planet for hundreds of thousands of years without the likes of Dr. Lovine and here cherished vaccines? I am not against vaccines per se, but I am against B.S. artists who may have a hidden agenda and bias.

  • This from a national news blog in response to Dr. Iovine’s glib claim that the COVID vaccine has been thoroughly tested for safety:

    “Thousands of people have been unable to work or perform daily activities, or required care from a healthcare professional, after getting the new COVID-19 vaccine, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    As of Dec. 18, 3,150 people reported what the agency terms “Health Impact Events” after getting vaccinated.

    The definition of the term is: “unable to perform normal daily activities, unable to work, required care from doctor or health care professional.”

    As The Epoch Times’ Zachary Stieber reports, the people reporting the negative effects reported them through V-safe, a smartphone application. The tool uses text messages and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins and allows users to quickly tell the CDC if they are experiencing side effects.

    The CDC and Pfizer, which produces the vaccine with BioNTech, didn’t respond to request for comments.

    The information was presented by Dr. Thomas Clark, a CDC epidemiologist, to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, an independent panel that provides recommendations to the agency, on Saturday.

    The CDC said that 272,001 doses of the vaccine were administered as of Dec. 19. That means most people who were vaccinated did not experience negative effects.

    The CDC has identified six case reports of anaphylaxis, or severe allergic reaction, that occurred following vaccination with the new vaccine, Clark reported. Other case reports were reviewed and determined not to be of anaphylaxis.”

  • A study was published in November: “Assessment of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among healthcare workers in Los Angeles”… In this study 47.3% of healthcare provider respondents reported “unwillingness to participate in a coronavirus vaccine trial, and most (66.5%) intend to delay vaccination.”. So what does it mean when too many expert healthcare workers, themselves feel uncomfortable about bending over for an experimental vaccine rushed to market without full FDA approval and complete clinical safety trials?
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.11.18.20234468v1

  • More science fraud in official claims about 95 percent effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines. The 95 percent claims only effect the “symptoms” of the alleged SARS-CoV-2 virus while the patient can still be spread the virus. — So the vaccine acts more like “Tylenol” that an anti-viral…. But the 95 percent claim is further revealed as junk science considering the devious way subjects are selected. — https://thehighwire.com/videos/how-effective-is-the-covid-19-vaccine/

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