Viral Facts

Viral Facts is a regular series that quickly and credibly answers common questions about COVID-19.

Do you have questions about COVID-19 that you’d like answered in a future episode? Reach out to us at digitalmedic@stanford.edu.

Episode 1: COVID-19 Vaccine Safety, side effects, and risks, explained

This episode provides evidence-based answers to these questions:

• The COVID-19 vaccines are new so what do we know about short- and long-term side effects?

• What’s the deal with allergic reactions to the COVID vaccines?

• Has anyone died because of COVID vaccines?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Answering Patients’ Questions. 2 November 2020. <https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/hcp/answering-questions.html>.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Authorized in the United States. 5 March 2021. <https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html>.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Interim Considerations: Preparing for the Potential Management of Anaphylaxis after COVID-19 Vaccination. 3 March 2021. <https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/managing-anaphylaxis.html>.

Gee J, Marquez P, Su J, et al. First Month of COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Monitoring — United States, December 14, 2020–January 13, 2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021;70:283–288. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7008e3

Episode 2: do covid-19 vaccines protect against variants? also, what is a variant?

This episode provides evidence-based answers to these questions:

• Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine if there are new variants?

• What is a variant?

• Are COVID-19 vaccines effective against new variants?

• Should I wait to get a COVID-19 vaccine while the variants are being studied?

Episode 3: 7 ways scientists safely developed covid-19 vaccines in record time

This episode provides evidence-based answers to the question:

• How were COVID-19 vaccines developed so quickly?

Anthony Fauci, MD: How COVID-19 Vaccines Progressed Quickly & Safely. (2020, October 1). [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ip7kKPNLN00

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. (2020). Explaining Operation Warp Speed. https://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus-lpha/pdf/fact-sheet-operation-warp-speed.pdf

U.S. Food & Drug Administration. (2020). About Emergency Use Authorizations. https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/mcm-legal-regulatory-and-policy-framework/emergency-use-authorization

Episode 4: What can i do after i’ve been vaccinated for covid-19?

This episode provides evidence-based answers to the questions:

• If I am fully vaccinated for COVID-19, what am I able to do safely?

• Is a fully vaccinated household able to gather with another fully vaccinated household?

• Is a fully vaccinated household able to gather with a household of unvaccinated individuals?

• Can I travel? Can I go to large gatherings and parties?

• Do I still need to wear a mask and physically distance?

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html#anchor_1615134468166

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Science Brief: background rationale and data for public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people. March 8, 2021.

Episode 5: Are covid-19 vaccines safe for pregnant women and children?

This episode provides evidence-based answers to questions around:

• Protective benefits of the vaccine for mothers and babies

• Risks of COVID-19 during pregnancy

• Why the benefits of vaccination for pregnant people outweigh the risks

• Studies on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for kids.

https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/the-moderna-covid-19-mrna-1273-vaccine-what-you-need-to-knowhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7644179/

https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/the-moderna-covid-19-mrna-1273-vaccine-what-you-need-to-knowhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7644179/

Episode 6: why do i need 2 doses of the covid-19 vaccines?

This episode provides evidence-based answers to the following questions:

• Is the second dose of COVID-19 Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines necessary for protection against COVID-19?

• What do I do if I miss my second dose appointment?

• What are common side effects after the second vaccine dose?

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/effectiveness/why-measure-effectiveness/breakthrough-cases.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/second-shot.html

Episode 7: Is it better to get infected with COVID-19 or get the vaccine?

This episode provides evidence-based answers to the following question:

•Is it better to get the vaccine or just get COVID?

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/adverse-events.html

https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/news/astrazenecas-covid-19-vaccine-ema-finds-possible-link-very-rare-cases-unusual-blood-clots-low-blood

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/long-term-effects.html

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-long-term-effects/art-20490351

Episode 8: What do i do if i have covid-19?

This episode provides evidence-based answers to the following question:

• What should you do if you or someone you know has COVID-19?

https://covid19.who.int/region/searo/country/in

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/world/asia/india-coronavirus-cases.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n677

Episode 9: COVID-19: Tips for home monitoring with limited resources

This episode provides evidence-based answers to the following question:

What should you do if you or someone you know has COVID-19 and you don’t have immediate access to a clinic or hospital?

https://globalhealth.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Home-Oxygen-for-COVID-19-patients76-1.pdf

https://nidhirohatgi.medium.com/managing-covid-19-in-india-breaking-through-the-myths-and-caring-at-home-7d541792b9c5

https://www.indiacovidsos.org/home-care

Episode 10: 4 Things To Know About COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids & Teens

This episode provides evidence-based answers to the following questions:

• Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe for kids? 

• If kids are not likely to get seriously ill from COVID-19, why should they get vaccinated? 

• Can kids spread coronavirus?

• Which activities are safe for your family if adults are vaccinated but your kids are still unvaccinated? 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/adolescents.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html

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