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COVID-19 Vaccine Fact-Check: Listen to This Infectious Disease Expert

January 06, 2021

Fears and misinformation prove unreliable guides when deciding whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine, currently in the first phase of being administered across Connecticut.

Dr. Jurate Ivanaviciene
Dr. Jurate Ivanaviciene

Dr. Jurate Ivanaviciene, an infectious disease specialist at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Hartford HealthCare’s Fairfield Region, helps bust some vaccine myths in an in-depth More Life podcast hosted by Jocelyn Maminta.

They discuss current COVID facts and figures, the new strain and the vaccine: Who should get it and who should not, potential side effects and some persistent myths, such as:

Myth #1: People with underlying conditions should not get the vaccine.

“That is not true,” Dr. Ivanaviciene said, noting that people with certain underlying conditions are at greater risk for severe COVID-19 infection, including hospitalization and even death.

For conditions that lower the body’s immune system, such as HIV, there is little data currently available on how effective the vaccine will be for the recipient.

“We don’t discourage them from getting the vaccine,” she noted, adding that, “there is more data coming.”

Myth #2: The vaccine contains tracking microchips.

“Not to my knowledge!” the specialist said.

Myth #3: The vaccine makes people sick.

“Vaccines do not make people sick,” Dr. Ivanaviciene said, adding that she tells people the same thing about the seasonal flu inoculation.

What happens is that some people have a reaction to the vaccine.

“You almost want to have a reaction because you know it’s working and your immune system is reacting,” she said.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, click here.

Subscribe to Hartford HealthCare’s More Life on Apple Podcasts.