Fact vs. Fiction: What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine | KOB 4

Fact vs. Fiction: What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine

Joy Wang
Updated: December 03, 2020 10:23 PM
Created: December 03, 2020 09:30 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Social media is full of claims about the COVID-19 vaccine. But what's fact and what's fiction?

How does a vaccine work?

"In general, a vaccine introduces a protein into your body, and that can be typically a harmless protein that comes from a virus that then teaches your immune system how to fight it off, should you encounter that infection again," said Dr. Angela Sanchez, Lovelace primary care medical director.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are made with RNA. What is RNA?

"RNA is basically like cookbook information that helps your body to make proteins, like a blueprint," Dr. Sanchez said.

"They've taken the little piece of RNA from the virus, not the entire virus, just a piece of its RNA, and they've been able to replicate it and put it into a little particle that, that will be injected and will go into the cells. And then once, once it's in the cells, it will direct our body's cells to make the protein and that protein is, is the antigen, the body will react to that protein they'll recognize it as foreign, and it will mount an immune response," said Dr. Melissa Martinez of UNMH Family Medicine.

Can you catch COVID-19 from the vaccine?

"The two types of COVID vaccines that are front-runners, and these are the ones for Moderna and  Pfizer, neither of those vaccines contain the machinery to actually give someone COVID-19," said Dr. Sanchez. 

Does the protein in the vaccine include DNA from an aborted baby?

"The vaccine is basically being made in a test tube, it doesn't," said Dr. Martinez. "There's no babies are baby parts involved."

Should people with egg allergies avoid the vaccine?

"A lot of other vaccines are actually grown up in chicken eggs, and so they use the chicken eggs, as a way to manufacture the proteins," Dr. Sanchez said. "So with RNA viruses, we aren't using chicken eggs to grow the vaccine. That's part of the reason why the RNA virus, the RNA vaccine type was chosen is because it doesn't have to be grown up and chicken eggs and therefore the manufacturing is much faster. So no problem with egg allergies."

What are the side effects?

"Every vaccine has a little bit of side effects, you know? People get achy arm and, and you can get a little bit of a low grade fever and, and not feel so well those side effects are usually very, very minimal, and they're much better than getting the disease," said Dr. Martinez. 

"Both of these companies are companies that we trust," added Dr. Sanchez. "And I feel good about knowing that these are reputable sources of vaccine. I like that they're U.S. made, and I'm hopeful that, I'm hopeful, that people will not allow that to scare them away."

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