SHSU expert: ‘These are incredibly effective and safe vaccinations’

Published: Mar. 29, 2021 at 5:23 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - All Texans over the age of 18 now qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine, but vaccine providers are still operating with limited supply, meaning that actually getting the vaccine could be more difficult.

Dr. Candace Walkley is a doctor with the Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. She was on First News at Four on Monday.

Walkley says a lot of public health officials are doing as much as they can to make the vaccine available to as many people as possible.

“The infusion that we got into the market of Johnson & Johnson vaccine has really helped us to put out more vaccine to more patients,” Walkley said.

Although vaccines are now available to all Texas adults, there has been a drop in demand for appointments. Walkley says this is normal.

“The good news is we have vaccinated a lot of people in the state of Texas already, so the 1A and 1B groups are already vaccinated,” Walkley said. “I think that the challenge is getting the young people signed up and ready.”

The hesitancy, Walkley says, could come from lack of understanding why younger people should get vaccinated.

“They are on the lower end of risk for severe COVID and complications, so they struggle a little understanding why it would be helpful for them to be vaccinated,” Walkley said.

Many people are convinced if they have recovered from coronavirus, that they are now immune. Walkley says that is not true.

“We do say if you’ve had it within the last three months, we do think you have immunity for three months. But after the three months, we really don’t know how long antibodies last,” Walkley said. “So we’d like everyone to be vaccinated so we can get effective vaccination immunity in the community.”

The staff at SHSU is working to continue to educate students to get vaccinated when they have the chance. The SHSU College of Medicine has reached out to different organizations such as the homeless and underserved individuals to get them the help they need.

There are some concerns about possible side effects that can occur after a COVID vaccination, like pain at the injection site, fever, aches, fatigue, or chills. But Walkley says if you have any pain or discomfort after the shot, it is only temporary.

“They’re due to the fact that your immune system is making a lot of memories and getting you ready in case you see the virus,” Walkley said.

Walkley says she has never seen any kind of intervention that is as effective as these vaccinations.

“Of all of the three that are on the market, they are all incredibly effective against symptomatic and severe COVID,” Walkley said. “These are incredibly effective and safe vaccinations and we want to encourage everyone to get their vaccine.”

To watch the full interview with Walkley, click on the video player above.

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