LAWRENCE, Kan. — We’ve all heard them. The rumors about COVID-19 vaccines and all the reasons why someone may not want to take it. Dr. Anthony Fehr, assistant professor of infectious disease at the University of Kansas, talked with KMZU to help to separate myth from science. He has been studying coronaviruses since 2012.

First thing first: Do you really need to be vaccinated if you’ve already had the coronavirus? Dr. Fehr has been reading the most up-to-date material available on COVID-19 antibody studies. The short answer is yes.

 

Is the vaccine dangerous to those who have had the virus and may still be carrying COVID-19 antibodies? No, he says, and explains why.

Newly-developed mRNA vaccines were virtually unknown, except in the medical sciences community, until mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were created by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech. Dr. Fehr explains how mRNA works.

Some believe that mRNA vaccines contain a genetic material that is capable of altering or changing the recipient’s DNA. That is not the case, he says, and explains why.

Dr. Fehr is an advocate of mRNA vaccines, a great option for individuals who can’t take egg-based vaccines, and sees a future in the new way to vaccinate.

Because Pfizer and Moderna vaccines rolled out quickly, apprehension is expected. However, there will be other options, like the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, soon which is derived from traditional methods.  He hopes those were are reluctant to take mRNA vaccine will consider taking other options when they become available.

Dr. Fehr suggests individuals on immunosuppressant drugs to talk to their doctor before being vaccinated, as some patients may need to halt the use of those drugs before being inoculated.

Once a person gets the vaccine, how likely is sickness from it?

“There are a lot of cases where the virus lingers,” Dr. Fehr. say. “You can still be contagious, even after several months” of having been diagnosed with coronavirus. That’s why he says it’s important for everyone to be inoculated.