Top Houston health expert debunks some vaccine myths

Monday, February 1, 2021
EMBED <>More Videos

Is the vaccine safe for pregnant women? Will there be a better process for vaccine distribution? Hear what the expert said.

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Fort Bend County Judge KP George discussed some of the COVID-19 vaccine facts and myths in a Facebook Live Monday afternoon with vaccine expert Dr. Peter Hotez.

The first question George posed Hotez was, "Is the vaccine safe and how do we know?"

"There are big studies done over several months and the results show an incredibly good track record of safety," said Hotez. "These vaccines have been given to at least 20 million Americans. If there was a common severe adverse effect, you would've heard about it."

However, he did say health experts are seeing severe allergic reactions at a rate of 45 in approximately every million, which is considerably low.

WATCH: Will there be a better process for vaccine distribution?

One myth Hotez was quick to shut down was people thinking the vaccine was a fast development program.

"It's been going on for 10 years, and a lot of research was done in Houston," he said.

Hotez also advised people not to wait too long in between doses because a person's vulnerability to the virus will increase. That may be difficult as some counties are unable to get a hold of large quantities of vaccines, though.

When asked if mixing vaccines was a good idea, Hotez said, "It probably will work, but we have no data for it, so that's why I'm not a big proponent of that approach."

Some say the vaccine is safe for pregnant women but after reports from the CDC that say otherwise, George asked Hotez for his educated advice.

"I'm of the opinion of getting vaccinated," said Hotez. "Even though there's not a formal recommendation, they are still saying you can go ahead and get vaccinated. There are other findings, though, that if a pregnant woman does get vaccinated the antibodies will transfer across from mom, across the placenta, to the baby. The baby will have antibodies so when the baby is born it will be protected against COVID at least for a few months."

While the two will provide the community with verifiable and scientifically based information on vaccine distribution, George said the debut of a vaccine distribution app may also be discussed. This comes as preparations are underway for new mega sites to administer the vaccine.

The preparations are "dry runs" at the sites as shipments of the vaccine are expected soon.

The app will allow residents of Fort Bend County to sign up for a vaccination appointment, George said. He said he hopes it'll streamline the process.

"Rather than you call or wait for it, you get an appointment that usually lasts for maybe five days, because people try in so many places," said George. "We don't want to multi-book people. That is why there is a shorter time frame."

This comes after both Harris and Galveston counties announced plans for a vaccine waitlist portal.

The video above is from a previous story.

Follow Marla Carter on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.