I seem to get asked at least once a day what my opinion is on the new COVID-19 vaccines. It seems the anxiety is caused by fear of the unknown and with the news media spinning things to meet their own agendas these days, it’s hard to know what is fact and what is fiction. So, I set out to get information on these vaccines from some very credible resources. I delved into information provided by the Mayo Clinic, NYU Langone’s Vaccine Center, and UMass Medical School (home to some of the foremost mRNA biologists in the world) to get the answers.

The vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech both utilize messenger RNA to create immunity to COVID-19. Meaning, they do not use the actual virus to create immunity like other vaccines do. Our DNA is located in the nucleus of our cells and it holds the instructions for the more than 20,000 coding genes of the Human genome. Because DNA is fragile, it cannot leave the nucleus, so it creates an exact copy of the instructions and sends it out via messenger RNA (mRNA). The mRNA delivers the protein-building instructions to our cells who begin building and replicating those proteins. These proteins are responsible for cell life, replication, response to stimuli,
metabolic activities, etc.

Researchers have found that the COVID-19 cells have proteins that look like spikes on the outside of their cells and the mRNA inside the virus responsible for building the spike protein can be isolated and replicated. The vaccines contain mRNA from the COVID-19 virus responsible for the creation of the spike protein. When we receive the vaccine, the mRNA gives instructions to our cells to build these spike proteins, our cells go to work creating these proteins, and the mRNA is destroyed. Our immune system recognizes this as a foreign invasion and builds antibodies to rid our cells of the spikes. In theory, our immune system should destroy all of the spike proteins
and then keep the information for us to use in the future if COVID-19 enters our body. The spike proteins alone cannot give you the virus. The Moderna vaccine is showing about a 94.1% efficacy rating, while the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has about a 95% efficacy rating. Since these were fast-tracked through the FDA, there have been no long-term studies on how the introduction of a piece of the DNA from the virus with coding instructions will behave long term in our bodies, although considerable work is being done in the mRNA field by UMass Medical School.

Whether or not you get the vaccine is up to you and it is important that you make an informed and educated decision. Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans will cover the vaccine 100%, so if you decide to get it, you should not be charged a copay or coinsurance amount for the vaccine.For more information you can check

https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/featured-topic/covid-19-vaccine-myths-debunked

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-vaccine/art-20484859

https://www.umassmed.edu/news/news-archives/2020/12/inside-the-new-mrna-vaccines-for-covid-19/

https://nyulangone.org/news/how-mrna-vaccines-prevent-covid-19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

these articles out online:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Medicare Moment:
The COVID-19 Vaccine
What is it and How Does it Work?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

these articles out online:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Continued on page 6)
Medicare Moment:
The COVID-19 Vaccine
What is it and How Does it Work?