A compilation of recent COVID-19 vaccine news.

By Melissa Farthing, Copy Editor

With so much COVID-19 vaccine misinformation swimming around on the internet (and even on bulletin boards on campus), it can be strenuous to sort out the real and the fake. That’s why I’ve compiled a summary of important updates regarding the vaccine this month to help you be better informed.

Disclaimer: I’ve pulled information from articles posted on NPR, a news website considered politically neutral, according to AllSides. Information last edited: Oct. 22, 2021.

First up is an advancement with booster shots. Thanks to a unanimous vote by committee advisors, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots. Last month, the FDA approved the use of Pfizer booster shots only. The FDA also confirmed that vaccinated individuals do not have to get a booster shot made by the same company as their initial two vaccine doses. Before this announcement, it was unclear whether mixing vaccine providers would cause adverse effects in patients. 

Next, more statistics have been revealed that prove the COVID-19 vaccine is effective against severe illness. In a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late last month, it was noted that the Moderna vaccine is the most effective in keeping people out of hospitals, with a rate of over 90%. The Pfizer vaccine is the second most effective at around 77%, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the least effective at approximately 68%. Although no vaccine can be 100% effective, these statistics are encouraging. They show that vaccinated individuals are significantly less likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19, even if they have a breakthrough infection.

Thirdly, new scientific data suggests that vaccinated individuals who catch COVID-19 may not be as contagious as the unvaccinated. This research comes from Ross Kedl, an immunologist at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Kedl says the difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals who contract COVID-19 is that vaccinated individuals already have antibodies in their immune systems prior to having the virus. Ideally, when COVID-19 enters a vaccinated person’s body, the virus should be coated with antibodies. When a person coughs or sneezes and releases droplets with COVID-19 in them, the antibodies should help prevent viral transmission. This data is newly acquired and will continue to be further researched. 

Finally, it’s a good reminder that no news company is perfect when reporting information. The most accurate source is and has always been the CDC. You can access their website at http://www.cdc.gov.