Viral Facts

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

Viral Facts is hosted by Dr. Seema Yasmin, who is the director of the Stanford Health Communication Initiative as well as an Emmy-award winning journalist, medical doctor and author of four books.

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

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