From the very start of the global pandemic, news and information about COVID-19 has been everywhere. Despite the best attempts of legitimate sources, unsubstantiated rumors and misinformation have also made their way around social media and “news” outlets.
With the help of this newspaper (and other media outlets), we have been able to share relevant, candid details with you over the past 10 months. Thanks again to this paper for allowing us to share timely information throughout the pandemic.
In that spirit, I thought it would be good to address a number of questions (and myths) about COVID and the COVID vaccine. As you can imagine, we (Mosaic Medical Center - Maryville) have addressed a lot of questions (and appropriately so) from the community. This is my best attempt to capture and address several of the most common questions in a single article. Let’s get started.
• When can I get the vaccine? The State of Missouri’s rollout plan is as follows and includes 4 groups.
• Phase 1A: Health care workers and long-term care residents and staff.
This phase is currently underway.
• Phase 1B: High-risk individuals (65 and older, 18-64 with underlying health conditions), first responders (EMS, firefighters, police, etc.) and essential workers.
This phase is being planned by the state and we should have more information soon.
According to Governor Parson, “Once we feel we are close to completing phase 1A, then phase 1B will begin.”
At this time, we anticipate Phase 1B will start in late January, but nothing has been confirmed.
• Phase 2: High-risk populations (prisoners, homeless, etc.).
No timeline has been provided.
• Phase 3: All remaining Missouri residents.
No timeline has been provided.
- How will I be notified when I can get the vaccine? Although the specific plans are still being finalized by the state, you will receive notification through multiple (and public) media outlets. As for Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville, we will communicate with our patients as soon as we have more information to share. Our goal is to keep you informed each step of the way.
- Should I get vaccinated for COVID-19? The vaccination is strongly recommended. The vaccine will help protect you from getting COVID-19 and help protect those around you.
- Can the vaccine give me COVID-19? No. Neither of the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use or in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. However, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination.
- If I already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated? Yes. CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19, because you can catch it more than once. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection will last.
- Can my child(ren) get vaccinated for COVID-19? No. More studies need to be conducted before COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for children aged 16 and younger.
- Is it safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I have an underlying medical condition? Yes. COVID-19 vaccination is especially important for people with underlying health problems like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and obesity. People with these conditions are more likely to have significant symptoms from COVID-19.
- Does the vaccine change my DNA? No, it can’t change your DNA.
- Can the vaccine cause infertility? No. There is no way for the vaccine to cause infertility.
- Why do I need the vaccine when there is a high recovery rate? The COVID-19 virus can result in severe symptoms and/or leave patients with long-lasting impacts (respiratory challenges are the most common). Although the recovery rate is high, avoiding the virus all together will keep patients from experiencing any of the potential impacts associated with COVID-19.
- Does the vaccine have a tracking chip in it? Although to many, this thought hasn’t seriously crossed your mind. However, some have asked, so I will answer. No, the vaccine does not contain any tracking mechanisms.
- Does the hospital get an extra payment if someone tests positive for COVID and/or dies of COVID? No, there are no additional financial incentives for hospitals or clinics other than the typical payment or reimbursement for care provided.
- Where can I find reliable information about COVID-19? For a comprehensive list of FAQs and more information about COVID and the COVID vaccine, please visit www.mymlc.com/General/coronavirus-covid-19.
With nearly everyone having something to say about COVID and the vaccine, I would highly encourage you to ensure it is coming from reputable sources and that you are doing your own research when you aren’t sure. Together we will get through this … and together we are better.