vaccine
COVID 2021

ASK LOOKOUT: We’ll find answers to your vaccine, COVID-19 questions

We want to help you navigate this extraordinary moment in time so send us questions you have about anything related to COVID-19 or the vaccines that are rolling out to eliminate it and we’ll do our best to track down answers for you and post them here.

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Ask Lookout

Lookout wants to help you navigate this extraordinary moment in time so at the bottom of this story, ask us anything related to COVID-19 or the vaccines that are rolling out to eliminate it and we’ll do our best to track down answers for you. For more coverage, visit our COVID 2021 section and sign up for COVID Text Alerts and our COVID PM newsletter.

Q: Is it true that even after you have received the 2-shot vaccination for COVID19, you may still infect others if you have been exposed to someone with COVID? — Sandor Nagyszalanczy

A: Because the vaccine trial period was so short, they just don’t have enough data to say for sure. BUT there are reasons to be hopeful. The FDA says “Most vaccines that protect from viral illnesses also reduce transmission of the virus that causes the disease by those who are vaccinated. While it is hoped this will be the case, the scientific community does not yet know if the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine will reduce such transmission.” Apparently there are some results from the Moderna and AstraZeneca trials that suggest they might protect against transmission. This article provides a great overview.

Q: How well protected are people who have had the first of the two vaccinations? i.e. Is there ANY protection before they get the second one, or are they only protected after both shots? — Dianne Dryer

A: According to the FDA’s analysis of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, a single injection of either of the two-dose vaccines appears to provide strong protection against the coronavirus. While Pfizer says the efficacy of its vaccine after the first dose is about 52 percent, some experts estimate it to be much higher. In effect, the second shot acts as a booster.

Q: Has the new variant been detected in SC County? — Lisa Jensen

A: It has not. B.1.1.7., as the more contagious variant of COVID-19 that originated in the UK is known, has now been found in 49 countries though. And our content partner the LA Times reported Monday that the variant has now been detected in nine states and “that scientists expect that number to rise in short order.” California currently has more confirmed cases (32) than any other state, according to the CDC. Florida is next, with 22. It was first discovered in San Diego on Dec. 30, the second known case in the U.S. No cases have yet been reported north of Big Bear.

Q: Why does Santa Cruz County have a far worse positivity rate than ANY other Bay Area County. Santa Clara used to be worse off than we are. Now only Monterey has a positivity higher than Santa Cruz. — Johanna Bowen

A: Positivity can be an imperfect measure of virus spread because it depends on how many people are being tested. Pre stay-home order, people were getting tested before traveling; that has since declined. Our Mallory Pickett did a deep dive on this and other issues related to positivity. To read it, click here.