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Verify: Answering three more viewer questions about the COVID-19 vaccine

The 5 On Your Side Verify team is here to help you figure out what's real and what's just a rumor when it comes to the COVID 19 vaccines

ST. LOUIS — Here’s a roundup of some of the recent questions from 5 On Your Side viewers.


Two infectious disease doctors battling COVID-19 on the frontlines:

Dr. Alex Lacasse with SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital

Dr. Jason Newland with Washington University and St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Viewer Question #1:

We’ve heard the Pfizer COVID vaccine has 95% efficacy.  Is it true 5% of people vaccinated receive no benefit from the vaccine?

Answer #1:

Lacasse and Newland both say this is false.

Of the vaccine participant pool who ended up infected with COVID, 5% of them had received the real vaccine versus a placebo.

But that doesn’t mean the vaccine didn’t have an effect on that 5%.

“You will receive benefit from the vaccine, even those 5%.  The data has shown getting the vaccine helps prevent serious illness or more severe illness,” said Newland.

Viewer Question #2:

Is it true our immune system is weakened by the long period of masks and social distancing, potentially making us more susceptible to other viruses?

Answer #2:

Both doctors say that’s false.  

“That does not mean that your immune system is not stimulated or will completely forget all the other pathogens,” said Lacasse.

Viewer Question #3:

Is it true a lack of side effects after receiving the COVID vaccine is an indication that you’re producing fewer antibodies?

Answer #3:

Both Newland and Lacasse say that’s also false.

“There is no data that says if you have less side effects or no side effects that you're going to produce fewer antibodies or have a less robust immune response,” said Newland.

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