How To ListenOn your computer On your mobile device Smart speakers
Explore CNNUS World Politics Business
Coronavirus: Questions and Answers
CNN's Anderson Cooper, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and guests answer your questions about the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Guests include Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Leana Wen, Dr. Celine Gounder, Dr. Mike Ryan, Dr. Gretchen Schmelzer and more.
- Are vaccines from other countries effective?Anderson Cooper: Ricky asked if I receive a vaccine in a foreign country say New Zealand or England will be effective against the virus and its mutations here in the US or will additional vaccinations be necessary?
Dr. Leana Wen: Well, at some point, I do hope that we'll get many different types of vaccines. And it may be that certain countries have more of one type of vaccine than another. There's no reason for us to believe that there's any kind of geographic variation when it comes to one ...Show morevaccine been effective in one part of the country or other. But I agree with what Sanjay said that it may turn out that one vaccine is more effective in older individuals or children or people with cancer or other conditions and that remains to be seenDec 4, 2020
- Is there an advantage or disadvantage from taking more than one vaccine?Anderson Cooper: This next question was sent in by Mark, let's listen.
Mark: Assuming you could get a hold of them, is there any advantage to or danger from taking more than one vaccine, especially since the different vaccines work differently, and the Moderna vaccine is a new and different type of vaccine.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta: You can't really overdose, if you will on vaccines. But obviously, the issue is that there is a pretty significant shortage of vaccines. So you take the vaccine that y...Show moreou can get and in the beginning, there may not be a lot of choice given just the high demand and low supply, but ultimately, there may be, you know, more directed vaccines based on your medical history and things like that maybe in the next year or two years from now.Dec 4, 2020
- Should men be worried about infertility when considering taking the vaccine?Anderson Cooper: For men, is there any concern about infertility? I mean, is there any data on that for the vaccine? Dr. Leana Wen: No, there's no data but also one would not expect. There's no biological reason why the vaccine would have an impact on male fertility. Interestingly though, there are some preliminary studies that show that the Coronavirus may impact the male reproductive system, which is also not surprising considering Coronavirus impacts so many different body systemsDec 4, 2020
- Should I take the vaccine if I am pregnant?Anderson Cooper: This question is from Susan, who asks, I'm an RN, and I plan to get the vaccine but I'm also trying to get pregnant. It is my understanding that the vaccine has not been studied on pregnant women. If I get pregnant, is it safe to take the vaccine?
Dr. Leana Wen: So Susan is right, current clinical trials are not being done on pregnant women, either. And so this again becomes very tricky because on the one hand, you don't want to be doing clinical trials on pregnant women. But...Show more on the other hand, you also don't want to be excluding pregnant people from the benefits of this vaccine, especially since there are many pregnant women for arm essential workers, health care workers, and also pregnant women tend to have more severe effects because of Coronavirus. So, the trials currently don't include pregnant women.
However, when you have 10s of 1000s of people enrolled in a trial, some people could become pregnant. And so I think that we will get some more information in time to come and one thing that Susan could consider is because she probably won't be in the first group of people who are eligible to get the vaccine, Could she hold off on getting pregnant and get the two doses of the vaccine and then work to start her family then?Dec 4, 2020
- Should I get the vaccine if I am breastfeeding?Anderson Cooper: This next question comes from Carrie. Let's listen.
Carrie: I'm still breastfeeding my youngest. I'm completely pro vaccine. But I'm concerned about a lack of testing and lactating mothers. No one in my family is at an increased COVID risk, so I don't know for sure way to get vaccinated until I weaned her next summer?
Who is this speaker??: So, Carrie is right that currently there aren't studies being done on breastfeeding individuals. And so, this becomes very tricky beca...Show moreuse we know that there are certain medications that are excluded through breast milk. We really have no idea whether there's any impact of this vaccine on breastfeeding, and so we need more information, so I would say that while that information is coming in, don't get the vaccine for now and keep up with all these other measures that protect you: mask wearing physical distancing, and not being part of indoor gatherings.Dec 4, 2020
- Should you get the vaccine if you already had COVID-19?Anderson Cooper:This question from Laura, who asks if you've had coronavirus or believe you've had it, should you still get a vaccine?
Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Yeah, I think the short answer here is yes. I mean, you do get immunity to some degree after natural infection. But we talked to Dr. Fauci about this. And one of the things that he said, and others have said, is that with the vaccine, we don't know for certain yet, because it's two shots with these mRNA vaccines a prime and a boost. The hope ...Show morethe thought is that the immunity that you get from the vaccine will be longer lasting and maybe even stronger. So, the answer is yes.Dec 4, 2020
- Will the vaccine prevent me from infection?Anderson Cooper: Yvonne in Maryland sent in this video.
Yvonne: Will the vaccine only prevent me from getting sick? Or will it also prevent me from getting infected and spreading the virus to vulnerable members of my family? If the vaccine only protects me from getting sick, but I could still be a carrier and bring the virus home with me, then I have to stay isolated anyway, to protect a family member who cannot be vaccinated.
Dr. Anthony Fauci: The answer is that we know that the vaccine ...Show moreis 95% effective in preventing you from getting sick. We don't know yet. It could be I hope it is. But we don't know if it's protecting you against infection. If it doesn't protect you against infection, it's likely that the degree of immunity that you have is going to diminish the level of virus in your nasal pharynx. And even though you might be infected, it is likely not proven yet, but likely that it would be very less likely that you are going to transmit it so you could get infected. But the level of virus is so low in you A) you don't get sick and B) you have a very low likelihood you're going to spread it to other people, although we don't have that answer, now, as we get more and more information from the trials. We will get that answer for you.
Dec 4, 2020
- What restrictions will remain in place after vaccine becomes available?Anderson Cooper: Another viewer sent in this video.
Ed Sullivan: Hello, I'm Ed Sullivan and I'm 32 years old and like so many other young people have grown tired of the COVID restrictions, even though I understand their necessity. It has been said that even after the vaccine becomes widely available, some of these restrictions may need to remain in place. What if any restrictions will need to remain in place? And will they apply to the people who have been vaccinated?
Dr. Anthony Fauci: We...Show morell, the answer to that is, there will be. I don't think we're going to soon see a complete abandonment. And we've got to be careful of what the caller meant by restrictions, if what he's talking about is wearing a mask, watching your distance, staying away from crowds to the extent possible, doing things outdoors more than indoors, we're going to be suggesting that no matter what because remember, not everybody is going to be vaccinated at the same time.
So, let's say you and Sanjay got vaccinated in January of February, there may be half the country that still has not been vaccinated, which means there's a lot of virus floating around there. And even if you are vaccinated, you may be protected against getting sick, but you may not necessarily be protected against getting infections. So, you may have some virus in your nasal pharynx. It wouldn't bother you and maybe it wouldn't even infect anybody else. But it could be there. That's the reason why you can't abandon all public health measures, you can gradually attenuate them. The more and more people that get vaccinated, the less and less the threat in society is until you get to the point where a few of the overwhelming majority of people vaccinated and you have a good umbrella of herd immunity, then I think you could get back to as close to normal as you would really want. But that's not going to be immediately.Dec 4, 2020
- When will most people be able to get the vaccine?Anderson Cooper: When do you think most people who are not on the frontline, health care workers or folks handing your groceries in stores interacting with a lot of people—when do you think the average person can get it?
Dr. Anthony Fauci: Yeah, I mean, if you're talking Anderson about, essentially a healthy, non elderly person with no recognizable underlying conditions. They’ll likely start getting it in trickling in, end of March, early April, once you get into April, probably full blast, f...Show moreor those individuals. That's the reason why what we would really like to see is that once you get into the, you know, open season, in the sense of anybody can get it, that we really have a full court press on getting people vaccinated, because the quicker you get the overwhelming majority of the country vaccinated, the quicker you're going to have that umbrella of herd immunity, which would be so, so important in bringing the level of that virus way, way down to below the threatening level. The sooner we get there, the better we are, you know, we have one of the two ingredients of the one two punch that could knock out a pandemic.
One, we have a very, very efficacious vaccine. As I told you guys before, I would not have expected it would be this efficacious. 94 to 95% is as good as you get. It's almost as good as the gold standard, which is measles, which is about 98%. So that's the first ingredient.
The second ingredient is a very, very high uptake of the vaccine. And that's why it's our job to get out there and explain to people, all of the things that they have skepticism about. A) was it too fast? No, because we had technological advances that allowed us to do things in weeks to months that it would have normally taken several years, that didn't compromise any safety. It didn't compromise any scientific integrity, we invested an extraordinary amount of money to get the doses ready, as soon as the vaccine was ready to be administered.
And then the decision of whether or not a vaccine is safe and effective, the public has to know it's not made by the administration. It's not made by the company. It's made by an independent data safety monitoring board, who look at the data scrutinize it, then they allow the company to see it. The company gives it to the FDA to apply for this EUA, this emergency use authorization. And then even then, yet again, another independent Advisory Committee, the advisory committee that the FDA classically uses to advise them as to whether or not to grant the EUA. And then when it does, then you start distributing. So, it's both independent, and it's transparent.
And you know, Sanjay you and I will be able to look at the actual data, because it's all going to be published in a peer reviewed journal. So, there's nothing shady about that. It's all open and transparent.Dec 4, 2020
- Can vaccine doses be interchanged?Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Public Health England, Dr. Fauci, has said that if it's not possible to give someone two doses of the same vaccine, it is possible they say to interchange vaccines then, what do you think of that you think it's reasonable?
Dr. Anthony Fauci: You know, that's not preferable. Sanjay, for example, if you have a prime of a mRNA, you really want to have a boost of an mRNA. If you get a prime of an mRNA, and a boost with an adno candidate, that may be okay. But we didn't do the cl...Show moreinical trials to show that that's effective. So it isn't as if it's impossible, but there's no scientific data to tell you how good that prime with one end boosts with another. So you're actually going in uncharted waters. You don't really know what the response is good. It's conceivable it would be fine, but I don't think it would be as good as the boost being identical to the primeDec 4, 2020