COVID-19 Vaccine: What works and what doesn’t?

One year later: Unknowns of the COVID virus, vaccines

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - It has been almost a full year dealing with the coronavirus, but people continue to ask questions about it and the vaccines which are designed to stop the spread of the infectious disease.

While there has been information about the virus for almost a year now, Dr. Wesley Willeford with the Jefferson County Department of Health said they are still getting a lot of people asking them about the disease and the vaccine.

COVID-19 spreads quickly. It impacts people differently. The older you are and if you have other health conditions, it can be more severe. People who get the two shots now from Moderna and Pfizer see less severe symptoms. The vaccine protects against getting sick.

The unknown factor is if the person can still get the virus and transmit it to someone else. Dr. Willeford believed we will know that answer soon. The vaccines are designed to create a protein in your body after a shot. That protein looks like the coronavirus, but it’s not. It helps your body create antibodies to fight the coronavirus.

“Our body sees that and it says ‘this is foreign. It doesn’t belong here’. It builds protection. It gives you all the protection against COVID-19 without all the side effects and risk you have from the actual infection itself because it’s limited, it’s brief, and it gives you tremendous protection,” Willeford said.

Dr. Willeford said until we get more data about the vaccine and transmitting it to other people, we’ll be asked for now - even you have been vaccinated twice, wear masks and social distance until those studies come in.

Dr. Willeford said the variants - particularly the South African and Brazilian ones - are a threat, but he believes we can see the eventual end of this virus.

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