By Annette Quijada
Health Educator from the Department of Health Alicia Martinez-Vargas, dismantled the myth that one can get COVID from the vaccine itself.
Moderna and Pfizer both developed mRNA vaccines.
“What happens is when the mRNA gets into the cell, it creates the spike protein. Our body recognizes that they don’t know what it is, ‘it’s foreign to me.’ and that’s when our body starts responding and makes the antibodies to combat that germ in our body,” Vargas said.
“These mRNA vaccines can not give us COVID-19, it doesn’t have any part of the virus at all. None of the vaccines being developed in the U.S right now contain the virus.”
Some people may feel unwell after getting the vaccine, Vargas said that symptoms like a headache, fever, or body aches are normal and are signs of the body building immunity.
But, It is important to note that you can still contact COVID-19 even if you received the vaccine.
Continuing safety guidelines is essential.
Another common myth Vargas discussed is the rumor that the vaccine was not developed correctly because of the speed in which it was released. It is common knowledge that vaccines usually take years for development.
Scientists were able to have a head start due to the previous studies of mRNA vaccines.
“Every step that was required to make sure the vaccine is safe and effective was followed. There’s four phases…and none of those phases were skipped,” Vargas said.
Phase 1 consists of 20-100 healthy volunteers. Phase 2 is several hundred volunteers.
Phase 3 is 1000+ volunteers. And phase 4 is the authorization of the vaccine.
“The only difference is that some of the steps were done at the same time instead of one after the other. Also, when they started doing the trails, they also started manufacturing the vaccine, mRNA is also faster to produce because materials needed to produce are already available,” Vargas said
The safety of the COVID-19 vaccines are a top priority, as the FDA and CDC continue to monitor their safety.
Vargas introduced a new text message app called V-SAFE that is being used by the CDC for vaccinated individuals who volunteer to sign up.
One would get daily messages asking to submit a questionnaire on how they’re feeling and what symptoms they’re experiencing for the next two weeks after being vaccinated. To register for the V-SAFE app, visit: https://vsafe.cdc.gov.
On March 1, Los Angeles County will enter the next phase of vaccine availability which will include the education sector, this will include a lot of people/staff from the ELAC community. For more information about who is able to get the vaccine next visit: www.VacinateLACounty.com.
“Be aware of the myths. This vaccine can’t be forced. We have the right to decide if we want to take it or not. But I tell people, don’t make a decision based on what you hear from others. Really take the time to educate yourself about it, so that you can make an informed decision for yourself,” Vargas said.
Information about COVID-19 is the vaccination are constantly changing, for up to date information visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.