HOUSTON — The VERIFY team is working hard to make sure you have the facts before you get vaccinated. Dr. Dirk Sostman, chief academic officer at Houston Methodist, addressed questions and claims about how the shot and the immune system.
CLAIM: I won't need to wear a mask after I get vaccinated for COVID-19.
FALSE. Dr. Sostman said, “One of the things we don't know about this vaccine is whether it can prevent you from transmitting the virus to other people. We know it’ll protect you from getting sick, but you may have an asymptomatic infection and be able to pass on the virus to others. So, you must continue to wear a mask.”
CLAIM: Vaccines can overload your immune system.
FALSE. Dr. Sostman said, “There is nothing to indicate that vaccines will overload your immune system.”
CLAIM: Natural immunity is healthier and more effective than vaccine-induced immunity.
Partly true. Dr. Sostman said, “Natural immunity may give you a reaction to a wider range of parts of the virus, which potentially could be good. But, in general, what we found with these vaccines is that they actually produce a stronger immune response than natural immunity.”
CLAIM. If everyone around me is immune, then I don't need to be vaccinated.
FALSE. Dr Sostman said, “If everyone around you is vaccinated and immune, how do you think they got that way? We all have to be vaccinated and become immune in order for the whole population of the United States to be immune and safe from this virus.”
CLAIM: Once you receive the coronavirus vaccine, you are immune for life.
UNKNOWN. Dr. Sostman said, “There are reasons to believe you could be immune for a long time, but we have no real data to indicate how long the immunity is going to last.”
CLAIM: You don't need both doses of the two-dose vaccine.
FALSE. Dr. Sostman said, “You really do need both doses. There is some protection after the first does, but the protection is much better after the second dose. The second dose is probably what is going to give you a longer lasting immune response.”