In this installment of Ask a Doctor, UT Health San Antonio physician Dr. Fred Campbell answers more of Texas Standard listeners’ most pressing questions about the coronavirus.
Will preschool teachers be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other teachers?
Teachers and child care workers fall under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Phase 2 rollout of COVID-19 vaccines – a guideline that Texas is expected to follow. Campbell says there’s no reason why preschool teachers should be any less eligible than others teachers when vaccines become available to them.
How should I protect myself from the new COVID-19 variant?
Campbell says the new, so-called UK variant – named so for its discovery in the United Kingdom – appears to be more infectious. Campbell says that means it’s not only important to continue the regular precautions, but to be even more diligent about them.
“It appears that the newer strains have mutated and are more infectious – in other words, more likely to to spread better and faster,” Campbell said. “That means that the usual, good common sense measures such as social distancing, masking, hand-washing and all the things we’ve been talking about are going to be even more important to continue.”
We now also have an added protective measure: vaccines. So far, the vaccines appear to be effective against the new variant, Campbell said. And as those continue to roll out and people get vaccinated, we’ll get closer to herd immunity, which means the virus will be less able to spread.
Is there any evidence for the vaccines causing infertility?
Campbell said there’s no evidence that the vaccines are causing fertility problems, despite some of the misinformation circulating in social media. Like any vaccine though, he said it could take a while for the health community to be absolutely certain about any risk because the vaccines are still in the early days of being distributed.
What about pregnancy? Will the vaccine affect that?
There is no evidence so far that a COVID-19 vaccine causes serious complications with pregnancy. But Campbell said if you’re pregnant or planning to be, it’s best to consult your doctor first about the vaccine.