Your Questions Answered
Question: Why is it important to be vaccinated?
Answer: COVID-19 vaccinations are an important way to protect yourself and your family. In the short term, you can keep those who are older and who have other underlying conditions from becoming severely ill and potentially hospitalized.
In the longer term, vaccines reduce viral replication in the community. The more people who become infected, the greater the risk of additional variants developing. And variants can weaken the strength of vaccines, resulting in a need for constant updates and refinements. It is critical to prevent the virus from spreading and replicating in the first place.
Question: Can the mRNA in vaccines alter your DNA?
Answer: No, mRNA vaccines do not change your DNA. Every cell in our body uses mRNA as a way to instruct cells on which proteins to make. While they enter cells to conduct their work, they do not enter the nucleus where DNA is stored. The vaccines that use mRNA to instruct cells to build the coronavirus spike protein help prepare your body to produce antibodies that combat coronavirus if you come in contact with it later.
Question: Are the vaccines effective against the new variants?
Answer: Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are 95% effective against the original variants and at least 90% effective against the new variants. Again, they will prevent the development of severe disease and hospitalization, even with new variants. The newly approved vaccines are slightly less effective with the variants, but still protect against severe disease and death.