AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — As new COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the High Plains, regional doctors discussed vaccine effectiveness and dispelling vaccine myths at the Texas Tech University’s This Is Your Shot: Vaccine Facts & Science virtual town hall meeting today.
Texas Tech doctors said 90% of their patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. The average age of those patients is 53, and the average age of a person hooked up to a ventilator is 48. Statistics like these are one of the main reasons for the panel today.
There’s a lot of misinformation on the internet and by word of mouth surrounding vaccines and even COVID-19 itself. Doctors said this is part of what’s making it harder to manage the spread of the virus.
Dr. Ron Cook of Texas Tech University in Lubbock said one of the most common myths about the vaccines is long term effects of it years after receiving it.
“Is this vaccine going to cause something way down the road, two or three years from now?,” he said. “Two reasons why that won’t occur. One reason is when we inject you with that vaccine, it’s gone from your body within a couple of days. So it can’t hang around and continue to do things. It’s in your body long enough to stimulate your immune system to say ‘Hey! That’s a spike protein, I should do something about that!”
Dr. Cook said another common myth surrounding the vaccine is how many people have died from them. He said so far the United States has given out 357 million doses and out of those, only three people have died, and those were from blood clots early on in the process.
The panel also noted that they cannot emphasize enough how much health workers area wide need your help in preserving hospital capacity. Masks, thorough hand washing and vaccination all help in slowing the spread.
If you’re on the fence about getting vaccinated, Tech officials said don’t hesitate to reach out to a health professional and ask a lot of questions.
The full virtual town hall meeting below: