The United Against COVID-19 held a special Facebook Live chat with Dr. Shapiro hosted in Spanish via Building Healthy Communities Kern’s Facebook page on September 2 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Dr. Shapiro, Medical Director of Health Education and Wellness at AltaMed Health Services, talked about the myths and the reality of the COVID-19 vaccine and why it is important to get vaccinated.
Q: Why should I get vaccinated if I’m going to get sick anyway?
“The best example I can tell you is that when we go into a car we put on our seat belts, even if it is uncomfortable, it feels kind of weird, it is different, it can really save our lives. So, we get in the car, we put it on, it does not mean that we are going to be like bumper cars everywhere, to see where we find a wall. But if we don’t have a seat belt and there is an accident, we are going to fly out the windshield. Vaccines work the same way. These vaccines are our seatbelt, because that way we protect ourselves and we protect the people around us and that accident is precisely when we get together with COVID-19. None of the COVID vaccines are one hundred percent. None say we promise one hundred percent. It is not true. It says above, that is, Moderna and Pfizer above ninety percent and I do not remember the specific number of Johnson and Johnson, but it is also above seventy percent. So we are really very protected against disease. It is true we can get sick, but the difference is that the people who are in the hospital right now, who are in intensive care, the vast majority of them are unvaccinated.”
Q: I already got infected with COVID, why should I get vaccinated?
“It is a very good question and the truth is I want to tell all the people who are listening to us, it is worth having doubts, it is worth asking, it is worth having fears, and that is why we created this type of forums where we can share fears, realities, and especially conversation opportunities. The reality at this time is that when we get vaccinated it is to protect ourselves, it is to take care of ourselves, it is to do absolutely everything between us and the virus and if it is a reality, other things may happen, but the whole idea is to take care of ourselves. So that way, if you get the vaccine, you’re even more protected or protected than if you hadn’t. “
Q: How true are these side effects and if it depends on whether or not we had the disease? I also heard from blood type that that has an impact on side effects?
“I’m going to start with the first thing with the blood, there has not been any type of study where it improves, or worsens, or anything in between that I do not know if it is even a word. For if a person gets worse or depending on the type of blood. So I want everyone to calm down, right now there is no kind of clear thing to say, if it gives you this, that happened. We do not know yet. But the reality is that there are many things we have to learn and one of them is the side effects of vaccines. Even water has side effects. In fact, many more people die from drowning than from the vaccine. “
Q: I am pregnant and I am afraid to get the vaccine. At what stage is it better to get vaccinated?
“At first we did not know because we definitely knew that pregnant women are worth two and it is a special moment because they are creating life for the future. So we know that if there are certain problems during pregnancy, they can be charged to the full life of that baby who goes to the future. So, it hurts us, it worries us, and as a pediatrician, as a human, as a parent, it’s something we definitely have on our minds. Everything at any time of any part of the pregnancy can be safely vaccinated. Not just that, women who are breastfeeding many times, it is what we want, it is what we are seeing. Women who are breastfeeding their children are passing the antibodies on to their children, and they are protecting them in a direct way. “
Q: I already got vaccinated and I didn’t have any pending, but when I got vaccinated half of my legs got paralyzed for two or three days, is that normal?
“No, it is not normal and it is important that you see your doctor for what happened and you have to report it.”
Q: Is there a vaccine that is better than another?
“Pfizer was the first to be approved, not because the others are bad, but it was approved because it was the first to go on the market. So the next one is going to be Moderna and surely the next one is going to be Johnson and Johnson. But the best vaccine is the first one that reaches your shoulder. Go ahead, vaccinate so that it begins to provide protection. “
Q: I am very interested to know if I was already positive once, is there a possibility that if I get infected more times and transmit it?
“Yes. The answer is yes. That is, as long as we do not have the vaccine and it can be infected to a person many times. The fact of having had the infection naturally, does not protect completely or in the long term against it. “
Q: Why should we continue to wear the mask after getting vaccinated?
“The most important thing right now that we have to take into account is that the moment we have this variant it becomes much more contagious, and not just that, as we know that vaccines do not protect us one hundred percent, there is always a bit there. If we suddenly, out of a hundred people, four get infected from four to eight people get infected, that is, with everything and vaccines, anyway if you multiply that by a thousand, it starts to become a very important number. So the fact of creating more barriers between us and the virus will be very important because that way we will be much more protected. “
Q: What are some tips that you can give to these young people who don’t want to get vaccinated?
“Family ask because there are so many crazy things out there that are not worth suffering.”
Q: What can you share with us about this third vaccine and if it is expected to be like the flu it will be every year?
“What we’ve seen there and all I’m going to tell you is that it wasn’t a surprise to everyone, it wasn’t, and I’m going to tell you why, and it wasn’t because we already knew that this was going to happen. It is the first time in our life that we are getting these vaccines and we are living with COVID-19. We just didn’t know, we didn’t know what was going to happen, so we didn’t know if it was good or bad. What we began to see in many countries is that after practicing sex, the eighth month, the possibility of protection by vaccines began to diminish. So what was thought is definitely to start to see what happens if we put a third dose to protect ourselves and that is exactly what we are doing right now. To remind our body how to fight COVID-19 in a more effective way wherever we are.That is what we are recommending, but very important, that’s for normal people. For people who have autoimmune problems, it is recommended that thirty days after the last dose be given the vaccine. “
Q: Is there any test that is better because different things have been heard around that as well?
“It is a super good question, we must remember that there are different types of tests, there are some tests, which is the PCR test, which is the best we have, it is the one that looks for bits of the virus inside our nose and mouth, and it says if at that moment they see if the virus is there. Because the mouth and the nose is generally where it reproduces the most. Then we have and serve to know what is happening today. We have the antigen tests that many of them are the rapid tests that we have seen elsewhere. The idea of antigens is to test, if our cure, if our body humanises us, whether we had COVID-19 before or not. And yes, at this moment we are producing those antibodies that can tell us if it was really something close or long term. What is the point of this is that they are good, they have their usefulness, but they do not give us one hundred percent, that is, they do not give us complete protection like PCR. “
Q: What does the vaccine do in my body?
“The idea of the vaccine is really to teach our body without having to survive the infection because when we get infected with COVID-19 we don’t know if it will go well or not, but instead of infecting and having that Russian roulette it really does. The only thing we do is be able to live effectively and teach our body by different methods because not all COVID-19 vaccines are the same. Every vaccine is different. So, each of these vaccines will have its special sauce, the way they did it, the way it works, and the idea of this is to protect ourselves in case that, well, that seat belt comes along, in which case come that COVID-19 against us and we can have more of not ending up in the hospital with horrendous complications, infecting other people more, and very important death. Save us from that. “