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Yesterday, Experts In Biology, Virology and Immunology Did An AMA On Reddit To Talk About The Launch Of The COVID-19 Vaccines And How Safe They Are

If you can't tell, I've gone down many a rabbit hole trying to learn as much as I can about this goddamn virus. That's not to say I know a lot about it - because I don't - but what I do have access to is a website that I can publish blogs on that share as much information as possible from people that DO know a lot about it, so that's what I'm doing here. 

I have never gotten into Reddit at all until somewhat recently. I would peruse the Barstool reddit at my old job because Barstool and the Barstool app were blocked by our ISP, so the Reddit page was where I kept up on of the inner office laughs, fights, and daily happenings... but r/askscience has been a godsend to me in the last 6-7 months or so. Unless I'm just a complete remoron and can't decipher bullshit fake news from unbiased science (plausible), I truly feel like this sub is one of the best places on the internet to get actual facts regarding the virus, how we're combatting it, what works/what doesn't work in combatting it, and anything and everything in between. It's not biased, politicized finger pointing bullshit like Fox News or MSNBC.

The AMA I linked above had a TON of good information on the approved vaccines and other vaccine candidates, so I feel obliged to share that info with the masses. Here are a few good snippets from the AMA:

From u/oneloveonetribe:

Question: Do people who have had the virus need to be vaccinated?

Answer 1: This is an intriguing question that we don't have the answer to. In theory, someone who has been infected with COVID19 will have protection from subsequent infection. What we do not know is the quality of that immune response and how long it will last. It is possible that infection will result in robust protection for a long time, as seen with SARS-CoV (the original). However, for common cold coronaviruses and MERS-CoV, immunity wanes in a subset. The hope is that the vaccine will provide both 1) better levels of immunity and 2) that it last longer.

Answer 2: If I had been infected with this virus, I would still get vaccinated. I do not think that it would hurt you as a person getting vaccinated and it could improve your immune response. There is some debate in the field about how long immunity will last after infection with this virus. As I mentioned above, the SARS-CoV2 virus has many proteins. Many of the vaccines only contain one protein from this virus (the Spike protein) or the instructions for making the Spike protein. Some of the other proteins are thought to be responsible for inhibiting your immune response, which may be part of the reason that immunity might not last (if that ends up being the case). Since the vaccines don't contain those additional proteins, they should not lead to the same problems and should lead to longer-term immunity than natural infection.

From u/phealthy: 

Question: Hi and thanks for joining us today! Many people are concerned about the speed of the vaccine development. Would you say this could be the new normal given it doesn't actually take 10 years to develop and test a new vaccine?

Answer: While the COVID vaccines have been developed at a rapid pace, it is important to remember that these were built on previous work with SARS and MERS-CoV. What we learned from basic science and vaccine development for those viruses was critical to getting these COVID vaccines to market so quickly.

From u/myomyw:

Question: Is it possible for new vaccines to carry unknown long term risks, or are the potential risks of a vaccine well defined? A lot of the vaccine hesitation stems from people’s imaginations when they lack a background in your field. For example, people may think “what if we find out that the vaccine give us cancer in 10 years!” or “What if it causes genetic issues down the road!”.

Put another way, is there a defined list of side effects you look for with new vaccines or are the potential risks as much a mystery to you as they are to the general public without your education?

Answer: With any new technology, there may be an unknown risk. With that said, the profile of these mRNA vaccines is thought to be safe. It delivers a message RNA that instructs the cells to make the protein, in this case, the spike protein of COVID19. This protein, made by our own cells, is recognized as foreign and the body mounts an immune response to get rid of it and prevent it from infecting down stream.

What we don't know is off-target impacts of this approach. With the safety data and previous work, we know that in general, we don't expect huge issues with most people. The caveat is that with this many people getting these vaccines, rare events dictated by a person's genetics or health conditions could trigger negative responses. Unfortunately, the only way to see it is to observe it at large scales.

There was a LOT more in the AMA, too. So yeah. A lot of good info and I urge everyone to study up on it so we can stop fearing the vaccine and vaccine candidates as if they're too rushed and/or a governmental tool to track, trace and control us from now through the end of time. I have a few friends in the medical industry getting vaccinated this week. Unless they're all deep web Qanon freaks that are in cahoots with the deep state while they're not out with me getting white girl wasted trying to score 6s and I don't know about it, then I trust them and the info that they've been given on top of what I've read up on. 

What I'm saying is this: see everyone in Lot B opening day (unless Reinsdorf does Reinsdorf things, which might happen because he's the worst)