COVID-19: Information & Vaccination
Vet Time in America is here to bring you updated information on the spread of COVID-19, it’s variants, and vaccine locations.
We partner closely with the St. Louis VA Health Care System to make sure the experts are providing you the most up-to-date and correct information.
In a recent episode of our show, we talked with Dr. Keith Repko, Director of the St. Louis VA, about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the VA’s response to it. We wanted to address a few key details on COVID-19 due to misinformation spreading across the internet.
What is an infectious disease?
According to the VA.gov:
“Infectious diseases can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. These microorganisms are commonly referred to as germs, and they can be present on a person’s skin or inside their body. While most microorganisms are harmless, some can cause disease under certain conditions.
Some infectious diseases are passed through the air by coughing or sneezing. Other diseases are transmitted through insect or animal bites, ingesting contaminated food or water, or being exposed to pathogens in the environment.”
What is SARS-CoV-2?
In 2019, a new virus emerged called SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19 as the infectious disease is referred.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “In addition to acute respiratory distress syndrome and respiratory failure, COVID-19 is now known to manifest as systemic inflammation, leading to sepsis, acute cardiac injury, and heart failure and multi-organ dysfunction in patients at high risk.”
Genetic mutations of SARS-CoV-2 have been emerging and circulating around the world throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.The current most dangerous in the United States being the Delta variant. These mutations and variants in the United States are routinely monitored through sequence-based surveillance, laboratory studies, and epidemiological investigations.
According to the CDC:
“COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick even after you have had COVID-19. Vaccination is an important tool to help us get back to normal.”
The vaccines we have available to help fight COVID-19 do not contain any live virus. Instead, they work by teaching our cells to make a harmless piece of a “spike protein,” which is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is 91% effective in preventing the COVID-19 virus with symptoms in people age 16 and older.
- Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is 94% effective in preventing COVID-19 with symptoms in people age 18 and older.
- Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is 66% effective in preventing the COVID-19 virus with symptoms — as of 14 days after vaccination in people age 18 and older.
The St. Louis VA is also adding walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations at all VA facilities and outpatient clinics that offer COVID-19 vaccines. Please check hours for vaccination clinics or call for availability. Supply will vary by location.
If you are feeling sick, please contact your local VA healthcare provider to learn about how to get a COVID test or seek treatment.
Tune in to Vet Time in America weekly to get the latest coronavirus and vaccination information. We are here to help our veteran community fight this ongoing pandemic and provide information and support. Stay safe, mask up, and get vaccinated!