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Vaccine cannot give someone virus that causes COVID-19 — Dr Ennis

"This vaccine does not have the live virus, the weakened virus or any part of the virus at all"

Friday, May 07, 2021

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Health and Wellness is reiterating that the AstraZeneca vaccine cannot give someone the SARS-CoV 2 virus that causes COVID-19.

In an interview with JIS News, Director of Family Health Services in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Melody Ennis, pointed out that the virus is not in the vaccine.

“This vaccine does not have the live virus, the weakened virus or any part of the virus at all. What it has is the genetic code, so it's just a code of a piece of the spike protein, nothing of the virus at all. So, if the virus is not in it, it is not a part of it; if it is not made up from it, then it cannot give it to us at all, so you cannot get the virus from the vaccine,” she emphasised.

Dr Ennis said there are a few things to consider when looking at where some level of confusion may come in with a vaccinated person getting the virus.

“When you take the first dose of the vaccine, you have to wait anywhere between 21 and 28 days before you begin to get protection. During that period, you can contract the virus and, therefore, you can test positive. So, that's one way you can test positive after you've received the vaccine, but it's not the vaccine giving it to you,” the family health director said.

Dr Ennis pointed out that another possibility of a vaccinated person testing positive is that he or she could have had the virus before getting the vaccine, but was asymptomatic.

She added that if the person never showed any symptoms, then took the vaccine, then did the test, then they would return a positive result.

The family health director said that it also depends on what test is done and what you are testing for, adding that there are different types of tests, such as the antigen test, the antibody test and polymerase chain reaction or PCR test.

“If you are doing an antibody test, that is going to be positive, because the vaccine helps us to build antibodies. So, if you do the antibody test after taking the vaccine, it should be positive. We want it to be positive,” Dr Ennis said, explaining that in this instance, the vaccine would have done what it was intended to do.