Experts answer your questions about COVID-19 vaccines

By Beatrix Lockwood

NEW YORK (Reuters) – An unprecedented COVID-19 vaccine campaign is underway with millions of people in the US and around the world. Dozens of vaccine candidates are still in the pipeline, leading to an end to the global epidemic.

As part of our #AskReuters Twitter chat series, Reuters invited a group of healthcare experts to discuss what you need to know before taking your shot.

Edited highlights are below.

How do different vaccines reduce the risk of COVID-19 and its complications? How long will they provide immunity?

“COVID-19 vaccines reduce complications by inducing the immune system to produce antibodies and T-cells that prevent the virus from damaging. The duration of immunity is not known, but I doubt it for more than a year.

– Amesh Adalja, Senior Scholar at The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe and effective for people suffering from serious diseases like cancer?

“Everyone questions about whether the vaccine is right for them, should talk to their healthcare provider. In general, vaccines have been shown to be very safe, and we know that COVID is not specifically for people at high risk. “

– Heather Pearce, JD, MPH, senior director and regulatory counsel at the Association of American Medical Colleges

What are the expected side effects of COVID-19 vaccination?

“Side effects include pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, chills, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes in the injection arm, nausea and vomiting, and fever. When I received my first dose of Modern Vaccine, I felt like I punched my shoulder for about 24 hours. “

– Dr. Joseph Petrosino, director of molecular virology and microbiology at the Baylor College of Medicine

Will emerging coronavirus viruses, such as those first seen in the UK and South Africa, affect vaccine efficacy?

“While current vaccines look to defend against new variants, one consequence is that more rapid spread of these variants requires rapid vaccine rolls to limit the range of subsequent waves of infection in the spring and summer of 2021 . “

– Josh Schiffer, Professor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

When you speculate that the United States will get herd immunity? What about it globally?

“There are major problems for global herd immunity – even as the US reaches wide coverage, as vaccines accumulate by rich countries, most people in the world won’t. Seventy countries vaccinate only one in 10 people this year Without change. This means a continuing epidemic without change. “

– Visit of Matthew Kavanagh, Assistant Professor of Global Health and Professor of Law at Georgetown University; Director of the Global Health Policy and Politics Initiative at the O’Neill Institute

Can you discuss the importance of vaccine access, especially in low-income countries?

“The use of the COVID-19 vaccine is critically important for everyone worldwide. It is our moral and ethical responsibility to ensure that this happens. As many people have said in this epidemic, we are not safe until the whole world is safe. “

– Dr. Kritika Kuppalli, Infectious Disease Researcher

What do we know about the effects of vaccines on pregnancy and reproductive health?

“Many agencies should not recommend vaccination to pregnant or lactating individuals who otherwise meet vaccination criteria. Talk to your provider if you have any questions or concerns. As a breastfeeding mother , I was vaccinated. “

– Dr. Sira Madad, Senior Director, Special Pathogens at New York City Health and Hospitals

What do you expect now?

“I actually cried when I saw the Pfizer Vaccine data. It’s been a difficult year for all of us, but knowing that the disease can be stopped and prevented, I have to lose weight off my shoulders. “

– Joshua Wolf, infectious disease doctor at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

(Editing by Lauren Young and Alistair Bell)

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