Presbyterian | Your Story | Centennial Care | Fall 2021 3 Q: In the news, there have been stories that some vaccinated people are getting COVID-19 and referring to the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine. Are there any facts if the one shot is effective or if the two-shot vaccines are more effective, especially against the Delta variant? A: The J&J vaccine appears to be just as effective against the Delta variant as the two-shot vaccines. J&J reports that its vaccine is 85 percent effective against all variants of concern, including Delta, in a July 1, 2021, press release. Q: It was stated that fluid buildup around the heart has been seen in younger males. Have there been any reports in younger females? A: The CDC states that myocarditis/ pericarditis after mRNA vaccination can affect females in smaller numbers than males. The condition usually occurs within a few days of the second dose of vaccine, if it happens at all. In general, the risk of vaccine-related myocarditis is very low a week after the second dose is given. Many other conditions that include viral infections also cause myocarditis or pericarditis, both of which are very treatable. Q: With all of these vaccines getting EUA approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), doesn’t that mean these were not vetted completely? We don’t know the long-term effects of these rushed vaccines, and how can we trust them if people that got them are still getting COVID-19? A: The vaccines were tested on over 40,000 people in the Phase 3 trial, which is standard for Phase 3 trials of any vaccines. Over 177 million people in the U.S. had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of June 2021. The number of side effects and complications is far fewer than the complications and deaths from COVID-19 infections. We also know that COVID-19 infections appear to have long-term effects that can be serious. If you are concerned that the mRNA could affect your genetics, the mRNA does not affect your DNA or your genes, and only lasts for one to two days before it breaks down safely in your body, like your own mRNA. Q: What is your view of getting the vaccine if someone has already had COVID-19? A: The CDC recommends getting a COVID-19 vaccination within 90 days of recovering from infection to extend immunity. Q: There are many people who have underlying medical issues who are scared to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Most of them have diabetes (uncontrolled), high blood pressure, heart failure, etc. How can we help them to get vaccinated? A: Diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart failure are among the high- risk conditions for hospitalization, complications, and death from COVID-19 infections. Vaccination has been shown to be safe and effective with those conditions. The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices offers guidance on safety and effectiveness of all vaccines. It is a valid source for more details. Q: How does immunity from the vaccine compare to natural immunity? Do people who have COVID-19 and recovered have immunity or do they still need to get vaccinated? If so, why? A: Studies are showing that immunity from a COVID-19 infection does not appear to last as long as vaccine immunity, especially for mild cases of COVID-19 infection. One theory is that there is less of an immune response when there is less virus-causing illness in a body, which may not last as long. The best way to protect against repeat COVID-19 infection is vaccination about 90 days after recovering from an infection. This offers long-lasting protection.