What the Covid-19 Vaccines do. The Myths and Facts
During this stressful time of COVID-19 and the release of the vaccine, many people are fearful and confused as to whether they should get the vaccine. Both Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna reported that their Covid-19 vaccines are around 95% effective in protecting against getting sick with the Covid-19. I have always tried my best to provide accurate information to our patients based on facts. Health experts warn that vaccines are not the panacea that many desperately hope they will be. That’s because, for now, the studies show that rather than preventing a person from getting infected, these shots appear to keep people from getting dangerously sick.
It’s a distinction that’s easily lost in the discussion of “efficacy”. Yes, I agree, Moderna and Pfizer reported that their shots are 94.5% and 95% effective, respectively. But at this point, efficacy does not refer to the vaccines ability to prevent infection with the virus but rather to its ability to decrease the symptoms of Covid-19 if contracted. In both trials, volunteers were randomly given either the vaccine or a placebo, then asked to report any symptoms of Covi-19, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or muscle aches. Only then were tested for the presence of the virus. If people tested positive, they were logged as confirmed Covid-19 cases. Later, researchers compared how many in the positive group had been vaccinated versus how many got a placebo and found that those who had been vaccinated were more likely to experience fewer symptoms than those on the placebo.
Because the study honed in on just those volunteers who had tested positive, there is no way to tell for sure whether the vaccinations confer total immunity for anyone else. What is clear is that the vaccine appears to protect you from getting sicker once you are infected. However, because the vaccine does not necessarily protect against infection, we can’t be abandoning public-health measures – such as wearing face masks, social distancing and avoiding indoor gatherings anytime soon. Researchers are still studying whether people who are vaccinated and never experience symptoms can still spread the disease to others. In the meanwhile, experts say it is best to keep up the behaviors that have proven to slow the spread of Covid-19, as Dr. Fauci said “The big message is that we have an additional tool [in the form of vaccines] for Covid-19, but we don’t have a tool to replace everything we do yet.’ My suggestion to my patients and friends is to wear a mask, keep social distanced and wash your hands. The most important thing is to build your immune system, keep your gut and liver healthy, take vitamin D and Probiotics.
Yours in Health
Dr.Qutab & Dr.Way