COVID-19: Answering Your COVID Vaccine Questions (podcast episode)

Dec 12, 2020 — In this special podcast episode, I’ve solicited pressing questions from the general public about the new COVID-19 vaccines. After receiving about 26 questions, I reached out to a true expert to help answer them: Dr Erling Rud, a virologist and vaccinologist with decades of experience researching vaccines for viruses like Ebola and HIV/AIDS. Erling does a scary impression of Liam Neeson, as well. This episode is available as an audio file and also as a YouTube video.

Here are the questions submitted by the public:

The Questions:

  1. Do you know if the federal or provincial gov’ts have released priority lists of which sub-populations they plan to target with the first doses of the vaccine?
  2. If you get the vaccine, for how long will you be protected and will it stop you from getting covid or just reduce the chances?
  3. I am wondering about the vaccine’s impact on people with autoimmune diseases and inflammatory conditions. 1. has it been tested in those populations 2. for both people currently on TX (steroids, biologics) and those not on meds. I have sarcoidosis, centered in my lungs and lymph nodes, but if agitated it could go anywhere, so I am concerned how my dramatic, Tennessee Williams immune system will react to this.
  4. Would you recommend this vaccine to someone with long-term inflammatory conditions.. Would the risks outweigh the benefit, given the shorter trial period of this vaccine?
  5. How can we trust a vaccine that haven’t been passed through all phases?
  6. If a vaccine is 95% effective, does that mean it protects 95 out of 100 people entirely, or that there is a 5% chance of anyone getting infected?
  7. What do we know/suspect about possible long-term effects, especially when vaccinating children? How can we make sure any risks associated with the vaccines that appear during the massive rollout are being openly shared with the public?
    mandatory vaccination in schools?
  8. Are the mRNA vaccines safe for transplant recipients and were they tested in any Phase 3 trials?
  9. Question- if there’s is uncertainty of how long people who had covid will have immunity and antibodies- what is the certainty that the vaccine will last longer than a few months?
    What do we know about long-term safety of the vaccine? Or will that be something that is studied down the line as short-term safety looks good?
  10. Patients receiving immunotherapies able to get this vaccine? There are a few vaccines some patients are unable to receive certain vaccines. Curious if decisions or recommendations have been made.
  11. If you become infected with the virus between vaccine doses (assuming dose 1 hasn’t had time to elicit an immune response), can you still received a second dose?
  12. What are (if any) worst possible unintended consequences of mRNA vaccine technology?
  13. The cold vaccines. I assume its not for contamination control but rather something to do with protein denaturing issues. How does this not happen in the warm environs of the body before efficacy?
  14. What should we continue doing in terms of public health care, once we get vaccinated?
  15. Will individuals with previous +ve COVID test be bypassed for vaccine – because they have already had COVID? If yes, how would vaccination sites be aware of previous results? Thinking especially of vulnerable congregate settings that have had high # s of cases
    How many people in Canada will need to be vaccinated before we can see a decrease in cases?
  16. After my 85 yr old parents are vaccinated, will they be able to stop without masks, have family over, etc with confidence?
  17. Do you know how much of the world will get the AZ vaccine vs the mRNA vaccines?
  18. Which COVID vaccine would you get for yourself?
  19. How do you get your hair so nice?
  20. How long will it take to gather enough data to say something about length of vaccine effectiveness, and/or whether COVID survivors can be reinfected. Is there evidence that there is more than one strain, like the seasonal flu, and will one vaccine address all strains of COVID-19? That’s two questions, THANK YOU!!!
  21. Is the vaccine cold when it is administered?
  22. Should we wait to get the vaccine or should we get it as soon as it’s available? Also which one would be the best?
  23. With a 2 dose vaccine – if you have side effects from the 1st dose, will side effects from the 2nd dose likely be better, worse or similar? ‬
  24. Why are vaccines typically administered intramuscular instead of intravenously?
  25. How can we trust that it is safe if it hasn’t been fully tested yet? (this is a serious question! I’m really not an anti-vaxxer but I know most vaccines take years to be approved. How has it been approved so quickly?)
  26. What can we do to reassure people no safety steps were skipped . I believe using terms like “operation warp speed ” did not help the idea this was rushed .