The COVID-19 Vaccine: What You Should Know

Apr 1, 2021 | Past Sponsored

Dr. Lance Ballard, director of pharmacy at Clark Memorial Health.
Dr. Lance Ballard, director of pharmacy at Clark Memorial Health, has been on the front lines of administering the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for COVID-19 since efforts began at Clark Memorial in December 2020. He answers some questions about getting the vaccine.

Does it really work?

Whether you get the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine, you’re looking at at least 95% efficacy at preventing COVID-19 with very few side effects. I want people to know that it’s highly effective, it’s what you’d expect from a normal immunization, and it’s truly how we beat this pandemic. This is our tool to get out of this. We need the vaccine to slow this thing down, and more importantly, to keep people safe.

The vaccine came out so quickly. Is it safe?

Yes. The vaccine went through the full rigors of all the phases in the FDA trial. Nothing was rushed on that. So, people can have confidence in it.

Also, you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. I think a lot of people have that fear. The way the vaccine works is it teaches your body to make antibodies to the spike protein on the virus. That spike protein is what causes the virus to get into your cells and cause all that damage. 

In some historical vaccines, they would give a weakened portion or some inactivated fragments of the virus, whereas with this they are using what’s called mRNA technology. It is just teaching your body to make antibodies toward the protein and fight the disease that way. So, it’s a pretty smart way of making the vaccine, and it’s why we saw one come to the market so quickly. Plus, all the barriers were removed to fund this project to get it through quickly.

I’ve heard _____ about it on Facebook!

I know several things that people are concerned about, but I would encourage people to reach out to their healthcare professionals, their physicians, their pharmacists. Reach out to somebody you trust that has the medical knowledge so you can have a one-on-one discussion on if this vaccine is right for you. 

And, I would encourage people not to get their information off of social media. Check your sources and see where the information is coming from before you share something or take it as fact and run with it.

Read more about the vaccine and receiving it at Clark Memorial Health.

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