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Johns Hopkins doctor: Vaccine is ‘most well-researched COVID intervention’

As the coronavirus still continues to spread and half the country’s population received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Johns Hopkins released an infographic that gives “12 things you need to know” about getting vaccinated.

Each fact, accompanied with a cartoon and short blurb with additional details, plainly states helpful information about vaccines and their importance.

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Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos of Johns Hopkins Medicine, said in an interview that he and his colleagues are “always trying to find a way, an efficient way, to share insight.”

“It’s away to kind of share science and public health information at a science literacy level that we think people will gravitate to,” he added.

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Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos of Johns Hopkins Medicine explains a few facts about the COVID-19 vaccine
Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos of Johns Hopkins Medicine explains a few facts about the COVID-19 vaccine (Johns Hopkins Medicine)

The first fact states getting the vaccine can protect people from becoming sick. The second states people of color are more vulnerable to becoming severely sick from the virus because generations of health inequalities “have cause Black and Hispanic/Latin Americans and other communities of color to be at greater risk of getting severe COVID-19 and death from the disease.”

Galiatsatos, the co-chair of Hopkins Health Equity in the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity, said people of color still contract the virus at a higher rate than white people. He said the demographic category that has changed over the last year is age. Last year, the older population, like residents in nursing homes, were impacted the most. However, the oldest COVID patient Galiatsatos said he had last week was 47. He added that race, ethnicity and socio economics are factors in who and how often people contract the virus.

Johns Hopkins Medicine creates an infographic to share facts about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Johns Hopkins Medicine creates an infographic to share facts about the COVID-19 vaccine. (Johns Hopkins Medicine)
Johns Hopkins Medicine created an infographic that gives 12 facts about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Johns Hopkins Medicine created an infographic that gives 12 facts about the COVID-19 vaccine. (Johns Hopkins Medicine)

Facts three and four state getting vaccinated helps others in the community, and the more COVID-19 vaccines, the greater chance of returning to regular activities.

Galiatsatos said a vaccine’s job is never to prove it can stop the transmission of a virus but to prove it can stop the development of life threatening symptoms.

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“However, if enough people get vaccinated, guess what will happen? That virus will stop in transmission,” Galiatsatos said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this month that those who were fully vaccinated were 90% less likely to become infected with COVID-19 after testing nearly 4,000 front line workers and essential staff for 13 weeks.

Fact five on the infographic state no steps were skipped to make the vaccine. Human trials for vaccines can take many years, Galiatsatos said, however the worldwide pandemic had every government provide all the necessary resources and the smartest people stopped what they were doing to work on the vaccine.

Fact six states diversity in testing vaccines helped asses its safety and effectiveness. And fact seven state side effects are temporary and does not mean a person is sick.

Those who have allergies can probably receive the vaccine, though they should talk to their doctors, according to fact eight. Pregnant women should also speak with their doctors, according to fact nine, though they do not prevent pregnancies or affect breast-feeders.

Fact 10 states those who had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine, fact 11 said people waiting too long to get a vaccination allows for the virus to continue to spread, and, finally, vaccines cannot save lives unless people get them.

Galiatsatos said one in four people in the United States are fully vaccinated. The virus could still have mutations that would result in people receiving booster shots, but the Johns Hopkins doctor confirmed that herd immunity is in the future.

“If you want to take the most well-researched COVID intervention, it’s the vaccine,” he said.

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