LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The number of Americans willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine steadily declined from April to December, according to a study published in JAMA Network.
Americans have many different concerns about the coronavirus vaccine. One myth is patients can get infected from the vaccine. The City of Lubbock’s Health Authority says that’s impossible.
“Number one, you can’t get infected from the vaccine. it doesn’t have enough of the virus particles, it’s just a little segment of messenger RNA,” Dr. Ron Cook said.
That messenger RNA codes for the protein spike found on the virus.
“Once that protein spike is made, then our immune system mounts a response to recognize that protein spike, now that your immune system has seen that protein spike. ‘Oh that must be the virus,’ then it goes and attacks the virus,” Dr. Cook said.
Once the shot is administered, Dr. Cook said don’t expect it to work right away.
“So that’s why we say it takes two doses, and its going to take an additional two to three weeks after that second dose to have enough immunity,” he said.
Another myth is not needing the vaccine if someone’s already had the virus. Dr. Cook said their immunity will eventually fade.
It’s also crucial, he said, to still take the standard COVID-19 precautions even after getting innoculated and that you can still infect others if you’ve been exposed.
All in all, Dr. Cook assures the vaccine is safe.
“We have lots of evidence that it is safe. Do people get sore arms, low grade-fevers, muscle aches and maybe some headaches, sure,” he said. “That’s just your immune system ramping up to produce the antibodies that fight off the virus.”
While there’s still hurdles, he said the thousands of Lubbock citizens who’ve already been vaccinated gives him hope that we are nearing the end of the pandemic.