As the death toll continues to climbs to 600,000 in the U.S., President Joe Biden is urging people to get whichever vaccine is available, so the country gets back to some kind of normalcy. Even former presidents such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama appeared in an ad to push people to get vaccinated.
However, the vaccine rollouts have been met with resistance from state governors such as Governor Greg Abbot in Texas and Governor Tate Reeves in Mississippi. They both lifted their COVID-19 restrictions against advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health officials, and received criticism from President Biden.
The claim: There’s been a lot of talk on social media about whether or not someone can still getting COVID-19 after getting vaccinated.
Our rating: True. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the scientist and immunologist who’s been the public face of the pandemic since its start says cases popping up, even after people get vaccinated, are not surprising, according to the New York Post. This comes after reports of infections in Minnesota from people who were fully vaccinated and still contracted COVID-19. None of those cases were fatalities. Fauci says they’re taking those cases seriously and are watching them closely.
During Friday’s (March 26) White House COVID-19 Response Team Briefing, he said that “one of the most important things that will be done, and must be done, is to sequence the genome of the virus that is the breakthrough virus.” He added, “It would be very important to see if they broke through with the wild-type virus, which would indicate a real diminution of immunity or whether it broke through with one of the variants, which would be much more explainable if you don’t have enough cross-reactivity.”
Right now, there are three main options for the vaccine. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, and the newly approved Johnson & Johnson requires just one dose. The CDC says people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, and two weeks after a single-dose vaccine. After being fully vaccinated, the CDC says people can:
· Gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
· Gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Nevertheless, the CDC says people should still be taking steps to protect themselves and others from getting COVID-19 by continuing to wear masks, practice social distancing, and avoid crowds. It adds they’re still learning how effective the vaccines are against variants of the virus that cause the disease of COVID-19, as well as how long the vaccines can protect people.
Here are some facts about each vaccine.
According to ABC News, the Pfizer mRNA vaccine doesn’t have any known allergens such as eggs or metals, contains genetic material such as mRNA, as well as “fats, salts and other ingredients commonly found in everyday medications that help maintain stability.” Experts say mRNA is already in nearly every cell of the human body, and that’s harmless. One ingredient, however, called PEG, could potentially cause allergic reactions, but they say it’s unlikely for most people. PEG is common in a lot of over-the-counter and injectable medications.
The Centers for Disease Control says the Moderna vaccine also does not contain allergens such as eggs, latex or preservatives and recommends anyone over the age of 18 to receive it. Common side effects include pain near where the shot in the arm was given, redness and swelling. People could also experience chills, a fever, nausea, headaches and tiredness through the rest of their bodies after a day or two. The CDC says side effects were more common after people received the second dose.
The COVID-19 vaccine for Johnson & Johnson was released in February, deemed safe, and effective by the Food and Drug Administration. According to USA Today, it underwent a large clinical trial, and the company proved it could manufacture the vaccine safely and consistently. The vaccine was shown to be 72 percent effective, compared to Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, but experts say it’s hard to make direct comparisons because the trials were completed months earlier when fewer variants were known about. USA Today says the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was shown to be 85 percent effective in preventing the most severe disease across all regions, and the company defined severe diseases as respiratory failure, shock, organ failure and necessary treatment in a hospital’s intensive care unit.
Over the course of the pandemic, the vaccine seems to be a relief for those who are immunocompromised or who’ve had family members die of the disease. There’s been prominent people in the Black community who have died from the disease such as Tommy Lister, known famously for his role as “Deebo” in the movie Friday, former presidential candidate Hermain Cain and actress Carol Sutton.
However, there’s been a lot of success stories — even with one of the first people receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. being a Black nurse in New York. President Biden says there will be “bumps” along the way as the vaccines roll out, but he’s confident taking it and continuing to wear masks will bring the death toll and number of cases down overall.
574,000 More U.S. Deaths Then Normal since Covid-19 struck – The New York Times
Tiny minority of vaccinated Minnesotans test positive for COVID-19 – The Star Tribune
When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Information about the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A Simple Breakdown of the Ingredients in the COVID vaccines – Hackensack Meridian Health