Video COVID-19 Why it Matters: Part 17, Vaccine myths vs. reality

Photo of the covid-19 virus enlarged under a microscope with the text, "COVID-19 Why it Matters: Vaccine myths vs reality."

This video series features UW-Green Bay’s Immunologist Brian Merkel on COVID-19 and Why it Matters. This series empowers viewers with knowledge to help them navigate through the pandemic. Merkel has a Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology from the Medical College of Virginia. He is an associate professor in UW-Green Bay’s Human Biology & Biology programs and has an appointment at the Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He will be responding to a number of questions related to COVID-19 and try to get behind the “why” it’s important to be educated in your decision-making as we navigate the pandemic together.

Video Transcript – COVID-19 Why it Matters: Part 17, Vaccine myths vs reality

Hello, I am Brian Merkel, Microbiology and Immunology at UW-Green Bay and we’re here to talk about why COVID-19 matters to you.

The vaccines that are currently available the Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine certain myths that are around in terms of this vaccine. There’s no evidence that this vaccine is going to alter your DNA, in that when you get immunized, you’re not being exposed to the virus itself, you get exposed to the RNA. The RNA gets inside your body. It allows our bodies ultimately to develop a response just to the one part of the virus that we need to make a response to. And it’s a very safe vaccine.

One of the things that you can expect, however, is that you may have a fever, you may not feel “right” because our immune systems are normally at rest. So, when we get immunized to things safely, we’re ramping up the immune system by design. All vaccines are different in terms of how efficacious that they are, but 95 percent is very good. As great as 95 percent sounds, which it is, one out of 20, even after immunization, if they get exposed, they certainly can become infected.

The more of us that become vaccinated, the better off we’re going to be. What this is going to do is to decrease the burden of this virus in the environment, in the population and once we get down below a certain threshold then we can begin to think about removing our masks and going back to the life that we used to know. So, when my opportunity comes around, I am really looking forward to getting immunized myself.

COVID-19 Why it Matters: Video Series:

Introduction with Brian Merkel

Part 1: What are viruses and where did this one come from

Part 2: Two main types of viruses

Part 3: Why is this virus serious?

Part 4: Why wash hands/wear mask?

Part 5: I’m young! Why should I care?

Part 6: Can pandemics be stopped before they start?

Part 7: Pandemic is not local, why wear a mask?

Part 8: Why does everyone need a flu shot this year?

Part 9: What is the science behind a vaccine?

Part 10: Where can I find accurate information?

Part 11: What type of mask should I wear?

Part 12: Why HUGE COVID-19 spikes in Wisconsin?

Part 13: Fall break, protect yourself & others

Part 14: Why is COVID-19 Testing so Important?

Part 15: What are COVID-19 Antibodies?

Part 16: Will the vaccine protect against new COVID-19 variants?

Part 17: Vaccine myths vs reality

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