With updated COVID-19 vaccine available, misconceptions about the shot re-emerge

Denise Dador Image
Thursday, September 21, 2023
Misconceptions re-emerge with release of latest COVID vaccine
It's been nearly three years since the first COVID vaccine was administered in the U.S. Now that the new COVID shot has arrived, old vaccine misconceptions have re-emerged.

It's been nearly three years since the first COVID vaccine was administered in the U.S.

Now that the new COVID shot has arrived, old vaccine misconceptions have re-emerged. And while the "magnets in the vaccine" myth has died down, many other misconceptions still persist.

As we approached people out on the street, interest in the new seasonal was hard to find.

Rey Javier says he doesn't plan on getting the latest booster. And he's not alone.

"I don't know if I need it," said Ernestio Bernal. "I had COVID about... two or three times already."

Even though the public health emergency was in effect until just four months ago, people seem to have short memories.

"I mean, I've had COVID. It wasn't that bad. If I get sick, I get sick," said Heather Ford.

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Americans can now get an updated COVID-19 vaccine, and many Southern California pharmacies have already been setting up appointments for patients.

"COVID-19, back in its heyday, had caused like 370,000 deaths," said Dr. Douglas Chiriboga with Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center - a reminder about what happened in 2020 and how the virus continues to mutate and circulate.

"We still have to respect it," he said.

Others say they're hesitant to get it because they are unsure if the vaccine that could affect their health in the future.

About 13.5 billion doses have been administered worldwide, and doctors say the vaccine continues to be scrutinized under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history. Yet many people still believe the shot can give you COVID.

"I got the first shot and then my dad actually got two of them and then he got more sick," said Katherine Fernandez.

Doctors say common after-shot reactions such as fever, headache and fatigue are signs the vaccine is teaching your body how to fight the virus.

"The vaccine that just came out is going to target subvariants of the XBB1.5," Chiriboga said.

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With COVID cases again on the rise in L.A. County, the public health director told us wat she's seeing and if masking could again be required.

Studies from both Pfizer and Moderna show their vaccines also offer protection against the much talked about EG.5.

"That's the one that causes disruption, " Chiriboga added. "People still get sick, and people still end up in the ICU and and they're hospitalized."

One of the most commonly heard excuses for not getting the shot: "I'm not gonna get the COVID shot because I've already got COVID."

But doctors say we know that immunity wanes and the variants that are circulating now are different.

"This vaccine, not only is it focused on the current ones, but also some of the older ones that are subvariants of the Omicron. So you're getting full protection."

This is the first time that vaccines the flu, COVID and RSV are available.

Dr. Chiriboga says talk to your physician about your specific health needs, but getting the flu shot and COVID together is a no-brainer.

"The the triple threat will be upon us. So why add extra angst and disruption in your life if it's readily available."