After dodging COVID for 3.5 years, I ended up contracting it after Thanksgiving! And, I have to say, it caught me off guard since I couldn’t recall being around anyone that was visibly sick, and had recently received the latest COVID vaccine. After testing positive for COVID, I was placed on an antiviral and steroid medications and was sick for about a week, but luckily recovered without much issue.
Some people think we are “over” COVID, but we are not, and probably this is something we will have to deal with indefinitely. I know there are people who refuse to take the COVID vaccines, or those who took the initial vaccines and don’t want to take anymore, but the current recommendation is that we DO take the vaccines. It’s hard to determine if I would have been sicker if I didn’t take the vaccines, but in retrospect, I am glad I did, even if I got sick.
So in light of my recent illness, I thought I would review some of the myths and facts regarding the COVID -19:
MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t work. That is why they keep changing it.
FACT: Data shows that COVID-19 vaccines protect people against severe illness and death due to COVID-19. Like the flu vaccine, scientists work to predict what variant of the COVID-19 virus will be circulating this season and tailor the vaccine to those variants, making the vaccine more relevant to the current season.
MYTH: You don’t need the updated COVID-19 vaccine if you’ve already had two shots.
FACT: Scientists learned that the COVID-19 virus can change over time and the level of protection from older vaccine versions may not be as protective. The best way to protect yourself against severe illness, hospitalization, and death is to remain up to date with the current recommended COVID-19 vaccine.
MYTH: You don’t need the COVID-19 vaccine because the pandemic is over.
FACT: The pandemic period may be over, but COVID-19 is here to stay. People are still getting COVID-19 and people over 65 are at a higher risk of getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and dying of it.
MYTH: You can’t get a COVID-19 vaccine with your annual flu shot
FACT: You can safely get several vaccines at the same time. Check with your provider which ones you need. They may include influenza, RSV, pneumococcal (pneumonia) and COVID-19.
MYTH: If you’ve already had COVID-19, you have natural immunity and don’t need the updated COVID-19 vaccine.
FACT: People who already had COVID-19 and do not stay up to date with updated COVID-19 vaccines after they recover are more likely to get COVID-19 again, than those who remain up to date.
MYTH: I don’t want to get the vaccine because it doesn’t work and vaccinated people have still gotten it.
FACT: COVID-19 vaccination lowers your risk of severe illness and death if you get infected. Compared to people who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, unvaccinated people are more likely to get COVID-19, be hospitalized, and die.
MYTH: COVID-19 no longer makes people very sick. It is like a cold, so I don’t need the latest vaccine.
FACT: An increase in the number of people vaccinated against COVID-19 has contributed to lowered hospitalizations rates and deaths, however, significant numbers of people are still dying. Nine out of 10 deaths with COVID-19 happen in people older than 65 years of age. The vaccine significantly reduces the risk of severe illness and death.
- Moorehouse School of Medicine/NCRN/Alliant Health Solutions