JOPLIN, MO – With everyone from universities to state governments offering incentives to get the COVID-19 vaccine, some patients are more focused on potential side effects, like viral shedding.
Some patients are concerned that getting the COVID-19 vaccine will mean they can pass the virus on to others, especially those not immunized.
It’s a potential side effect that involves some vaccines.
“Not for COVID-19. But for example, influenza, most of them are inactivated viruses. For this one, we actually don’t use injection, because he’s put some spray into your nose. And that is a live vaccine so that theoretically, you could infect someone else with a vaccine.” Says Dr. Uwe Schmidt, Freeman Infectious Diseases.
Sometimes called “shedding,” referring to the potential release of the virus.
In theory, a patient with the shot could spread or “shed” the virus.
There are a couple of factors to keep in mind with vaccines with the live virus, like the nasal flu spray.
“It’s not the regular strong influenza virus in that situation. It’s a virus which is already attenuated, and it’s not virulent anymore so it would rarely cause any problem.” Dr. Schmidt says.
For the COVID-19 vaccine, it does not contain a live virus, so the vaccination process doesn’t involve that factor.
“So once you get vaccinated, you don’t really have the virus itself, because it’s not a live vaccine. So basically, you would not expect that you would share any virus from this that can happen with a live vaccine.” Dr. Schmidt says.
This concern about shedding is just one part of the conversation about the COVID-19 vaccine, and whether or not patients choose to get it.