Your Questions Answered
Question: Does the intensity of an individual’s reaction to the vaccine reflect vaccine effectiveness?
Answer: While uncomfortable for some people, the “fire” in your arm following the COVID-19 vaccination — more commonly after the second dose of the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna — represents the evidence of an immune response. “Germinal centers” are developing in lymph tissue to stimulate pre-existing as well as new B cell clones, which then generate high-affinity, broad, and durable antibodies for considerable immunity. It is a good burn like you might feel after a hard workout in a gym. We do not know whether the intensity of an individual’s symptoms exactly predicts the subsequent levels of antibodies and duration of protection.
Question: How does the COVID-19 vaccine affect women who are trying to get pregnant, are pregnant or are breastfeeding?
Answer: Based on all the available data both in animals and in humans, there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination impacts female (or male) fertility. For women who anticipate becoming pregnant in the very near future, the risk of actual COVID-19 infection during pregnancy is the major concern, since COVID-19 infection is significantly more dangerous for pregnant women compared to women the same age who are not pregnant, including the risk of preterm birth. These are risks that receiving the COVID-19 vaccine could prevent.
The CDC Control states that any of the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines can be offered to people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, but vaccination remains a personal choice.
Question: What has the impact of COVID-19 been on Hispanic communities?
Answer: The Latino population in the U.S. has been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to whites, Latinos are more likely to become infected with COVID-19. They are also more likely to be hospitalized after contracting the virus and more likely to die from it. The greater rate of infection is attributable to factors such as the large number of Latinos who are essential workers and are thus at risk of exposure through their jobs, as well as household composition and the fact that Latinos are more likely to live in crowded housing conditions. A lower average socioeconomic status, lack of access to healthcare and a greater prevalence of underlying health conditions all contribute to complications of the disease, which leads to greater hospitalization and higher mortality rates.