Local politics, the county, and the world, as viewed by Tammy Maygra

Tammy’s views are her own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bill Eagle, his pastor, Tammy’s neighbors, Wayne Mayo, Betsy Johnson, Brad Witt, President Trump, Henry Heimuller, VP Pence, Pat Robertson, Debi Corsiglia’s dog, or Claudia Eagle’s Cats. This Tammy’s Take (with the exception of this disclaimer) is not paid for or written by, or even reviewed by anyone but Tammy and she refuses to be bullied by anyone.

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Covid Pandemic Info


With an uptick in covid cases, we need to fully understand the myths about the vaccine. Since the vaccine was developed in record time. We need to feel safe ourselves but we also need to make sure that we all take the vaccine correctly and in the correct time frame. We still must use precautions with masks and washing hands until the majority of the population has received the injections. I am afraid that it will take longer than they think due to distribution challenges. And we will have some people who will not take the vaccine. So until we have herd immunity which supersedes stupidly we must remain diligent.

Myth #1: If you've had COVID-19 already, you don't need to get vaccinated.

The verdict is still out when it comes to how long you are protected from COVID-19 after a previous infection — what's referred to as natural immunity. In fact, “early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains. Because of this, “people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before


Myth #2: Once you receive the coronavirus vaccine, you're immune for life.

It's also unknown how long immunity from a coronavirus vaccine will last and whether it will need to be administered more than once, or even on a regular basis, like the flu shot.


Myth #3: You can ditch your mask after you get vaccinated.

The vaccine is one tool that can help slow the spread of the coronavirus, but others will be needed to bring the pandemic to an end — these include mask wearing, social distancing, frequent handwashing and testing.

One reason: It will likely take several months to get the majority of Americans who want a coronavirus vaccine vaccinated, health officials predict. And until a substantial portion of the population develops resistance to COVID-19 and so-called herd immunity is reached, the virus will continue to spread and sicken people.

Another: Protection isn't instantaneous. “It typically takes a few weeks” for the body to develop memory cells for the virus after vaccination, which means “it is possible that a person could be infected” with the coronavirus just after receiving the vaccine and then get sick with COVID-19 “because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection,” the CDC explains. In this case, face masks, social distancing and other recommended efforts can help prevent an infection while the body builds up immunity.

Finally: While the leading vaccines have proven effective at preventing COVID-19, it’s not yet clear whether they can block virus transmission. Masks, however, have established their effectiveness at stopping virus particles from infecting others.  


Myth #4: The vaccines use a live version of the coronavirus.

None of the vaccines in late-stage development in the U.S. use the live virus that causes COVID-19, the CDC confirms. Instead, the leading vaccine candidates use scientific techniques to train the human body to recognize and fight the coronavirus by either introducing a harmless piece of the virus (not the entire germ) to the body or by giving the body instructions to make its own coronavirus-like protein. The body then recognizes these proteins shouldn't be there and produces antibodies to fight them off. Then, the immune system establishes memory to protect against future infections.

While the coronavirus vaccines will not make you sick with COVID-19, like other vaccines, including the flu shot and the vaccine that protects against shingles, they can cause side effects in some people. A small share of participants enrolled in the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna/NIH clinical trials reported temporary side effects after their shots. Symptoms included injection site pain, fatigue, headaches, chills and muscle aches. Researchers have so far not identified any major safety concerns with these two vaccines, but participants and early vaccine recipients will be monitored for long-term adverse events.

Myth #5: mRNA vaccines can alter your DNA.

Two of the four vaccine candidates in late-stage U.S. trials (the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which was authorized by the federal government on Dec. 11, and the Moderna/NIH vaccine) utilize a new type of technology called messenger RNA, or mRNA for short. Think of mRNA as an instruction manual: It directs the body to build an immune response to a specific infection.

Currently, there are no licensed mRNA vaccines in the U.S., and the newness of them has generated suspicion among some. One widely circulated myth on social media claims that mRNA vaccines can alter human DNA. This, however, is not the case, according to experts at the CDC.

For starters, the mRNA from the vaccine “never enter the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA are kept. This means the mRNA does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way,” the CDC states. What's more, after the cells use the instructions the mRNA delivers — in the case of the COVID-19 vaccines, the instructions are to build the coronavirus’ signature spike protein so the body can develop an immune response should it ever encounter the real deal down the road — they destroy the mRNA.

Though new, the CDC stresses that mRNA vaccines will be held to the same safety and effectiveness standards as other vaccines that are approved or authorized in the U.S.


Myth #6: You don't need both doses of the two-dose vaccines.

All but one of the vaccines in late-stage development require two doses that are given a few weeks apart. And because health experts are not sure whether one dose will be effective enough to prevent COVID-19 or a severe case of the illness, skipping the second shot is not a good idea. As the CDC explains: The first shot starts building protection; the second shot boosts that protection and “is needed to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer.”

"We don't know what happens after a single dose,” William Moss, M.D., executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told AARP in a previous interview. “Certainly, we can't expect [that one dose will confer] the high degree of protection” that both doses demonstrated in phase 3 clinical trials, he added.


Myth #7: If you got the flu shot this year, you don't need a coronavirus vaccine.

While the flu and COVID-19 share a similar list of symptoms, they are two different illnesses, caused by two different viruses. So when it comes to the vaccines, “it's not one or the other,” Anthony Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), explained in a recent AARP tele-town hall event.

"You want to be doubly protected from the flu and from coronavirus,” Fauci said — especially since it's possible to get infected by both viruses at the same time, or one right after another, which can be taxing on the lungs and other organs.

We are not out of the woods yet, it may be clear into June or July before some of us will get the vaccine. Until then, stay the course. There is a light at the end of the tunnel even though the tunnel may be long.





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