The conversations around COVID-19 seem to be coming full circle, more than 18-months after the pandemic began – masking, hospital rates increasing and the need for community action.
Several startling truths remain in front of us regarding COVID-19 in Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The vaccine rate has stalled with about 50% of all people in the Fox Cities region having received at least one dose. In Shawano County, that number is even lower, with around 40% in the county receiving one dose.
“While the vaccine conversation is incredibly important, it goes hand-in-hand with the new information about the more-contagious and more-severe Delta variant,” said Dr. Mindy Frimodig, Medical Director at ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano. “At the end of July, new, confirmed cases increased by 330% in just two weeks.”
Another fact: At this time, the vast majority of COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations in the U.S are among those who are unvaccinated.
“COVID-19 isn’t over,” said Dr. Mindy. “It will linger and potentially spread in our communities for some time. We must come together as a community once again, take precautions and continue moving in the right direction.”
Over the course of the next few weeks, ThedaCare providers will tackle COVID-19 vaccine myths and misinformation. The topics will vary from myths around altering DNA to the vaccine causing fertility issues.
COVID-19 Vaccine Myth 1: COVID-19 Will Make Me Magnetic
You might have seen videos or photos shared on social media of people claiming to be “magnetized” after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all three COVID-19 vaccines approved for emergency use in the United States, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, are free from metals such as iron, nickel, cobalt, lithium, and rare earth alloys, as well as any manufactured products such as microelectronics, electrodes, carbon nanotubes, and nanowire semiconductors.
“Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will not make you magnetic, including at the site of vaccination, which is usually your arm,” explained Dr. Mindy. “Simply put, the vaccines do not contain ingredients that can produce an electromagnetic field.”
Common side effects from the vaccines can include fatigue, headache, fever and chills. Most side effects diminish within 24-48 hours.
There have also been myth discussions about the vaccine altering a person’s DNA.
Again, Dr. Mindy explained that is not true.
“COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way,” she said. “According to the CDC, there are currently two types of COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized and recommended for use in the United States: messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines and a viral vector vaccine.”
The CDC states, both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the material never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the genetic material in the vaccines cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. All COVID-19 vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease.
“To stop this pandemic, we need to use all of our prevention tools, and vaccines are our best defense against the virus,” said Dr. Mindy. “We encourage all people who are eligible to get vaccinated, and continue taking other precautions such as wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart from others.”
To ensure coordination and continue ThedaCare’s long history of delivering vaccines safely and effectively, the system will continue offering COVID-19 vaccines at select Primary Care and Pediatric Clinics, while continuing to offer doses at designated vaccine clinics.
For more information about COVID-19, schedule a vaccine, find a testing location, view online care options and community resources, as well as other important news and updates, please visit thedacarecovid19.org/.
For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to improving the health and well-being of the communities it serves in Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization delivers care to more than 600,000 residents in 17 counties and employs approximately 7,000 health care professionals. ThedaCare has 180 points of care, including seven hospitals. As an organization committed to being a leader in Population Health, team members are dedicated to empowering people to live their unique best lives. ThedaCare also partners with communities to understand needs, finding solutions together, and encouraging health awareness and action. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a not-for-profit health system with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs, as well as primary care.
For more information, visit thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on social media. Members of the media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public and Media Relations Consultant at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.