Reinfection is well documented. Infection with the virus creates an immune response for most people, but the response is not consistent from person to person. Some people have to get very sick to get a strong immune response, and some people have almost no symptoms when they are ill. The reality is that we cannot reliably predict who will mount a good immune response from natural infection. Myth No. 1: “I have had the virus, so I won’t get it again.” Additionally, many people are assuming that they have had the virus already. But, if you did not get a confirmed test for the virus, research shows you have almost an 80% chance of not having had COVID-19 when you had COVID-like symptoms. The immune response to vaccination is much more safe, predictable, reliable, and shown to create more protective antibodies than infection alone.
“A wide range of views about the virus and the pandemic itself exist in our region. The science about the COVID-19 pandemic has become much clearer over time. Despite this increase in knowledge there are some strongly held beliefs about COVID-19 that have not changed. As your regional health officials we view that as extremely concerning and would like to weigh in on some common vaccine myths. We no longer need to wait and see, because the science and the evidence are clear that these vaccines are safe, effective, and are protecting those who have been vaccinated,” the group said. “In sum: we are vulnerable. We are entering a summer season that will be affected by the more contagious and more threatening delta variant. And, it is summer with tourism in full force both between counties in our region and travelers from all over the world,” the RANCHO group said in a joint statement.
RANCHO also addressed the following myths about COVID-19 vaccines. The region has consistently shown a lower rate of COVID-19 antibodies, meaning more residents are susceptible to the virus.
If you are vaccinated, you might have some short-term symptoms but there is a greater chance you won’t end up in the hospital and you won’t die from the virus. With rare exceptions, our local data show that the only people getting seriously ill from COVID-19 are the unvaccinated. State and international data is even more compelling with larger numbers to study. Though quite rare, there have been cases of inflammation of the heart (myocarditis) and/or the lining around the heart (pericarditis) with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, mostly in young men in their late teens and twenties. Most cases have been brief and self-limited, recovering on their own or with simple treatments like anti-inflammatories, with rare cases requiring hospitalization. The vaccine causes a sore arm in most people. Some get other minor aches or feel like they have the “flu.” These symptoms last a few days at the most and are thought to represent the reaction of our immune systems.
Myth No. 2: “Getting the vaccine is worse than getting COVID-19. Plus, I’m young and healthy.” Bottom line: The COVID-19 vaccines result in high levels of protection, while immunity from past infection is unpredictable.
The News Highlights
- Lake County News, Calif. – Regional Health Officials Call for Vaccines, Address Vaccine Myths
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