Coronavirus weekly need-to-know: Magnetism, ‘Delta’ variant, vaccine shedding & more

·4 min read

Each week, we offer you a round-up of our noteworthy coronavirus coverage.

More than 33.4 million people in the United States have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Friday morning, June 11, according to Johns Hopkins University. That includes more than 598,000 people who have died nationwide.

Globally, there have been more than 174.9 million confirmed cases of the highly infectious virus, with more than 3.7 million reported deaths.

More than 141.5 million Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of June 10 — about 43% of the total population, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracker shows. About 53% of adults and 51% of people aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated in the U.S.

Here’s what happened between June 4 and June 10.

No, COVID-19 vaccines don’t make you magnetic

Social media videos of COVID-19 vaccinated people sticking coins and refrigerator magnets to their arms have been spreading a popular conspiracy that the coronavirus shots contain microchips or other metals supposedly used by the government to track Americans.

But instead of facts, all these people have are oily arms and some tape, experts say.

Here’s everything you need to know.

No, COVID vaccines don’t make you magnetic. Experts debunk social media videos

Antibody test won’t reveal if you gained immunity from COVID-19 vaccine

For the cautious and vulnerable, such as those with weakened immune systems, taking a coronavirus antibody test after vaccination might offer some assurance that their bodies built immunity against COVID-19. But the tests are unnecessary and unreliable, and should not be used to determine how much protection someone gains from the vaccines, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

That’s because the tests weren’t designed to reveal that kind of information; they should only be used to determine if a person had a coronavirus infection in the past, not a current one. What’s more, the test may provide false confidence that could put people in harm’s way.

Antibody test won’t reveal if you gained immunity from your COVID vaccine, experts say

‘Delta’ coronavirus variant first found in India reaches U.S.

Another coronavirus variant, this time one that was discovered in India, has made its way to the U.S., grabbing the attention of public health officials even as COVID-19 vaccinations continue to lower new cases and deaths in the nation.

B.1.617.2, now known as “Delta,” has been reported in about 60 countries, according to top White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, and currently makes up more than 6% of the sequenced coronavirus cases in the U.S.

Continue reading to learn more about the Delta variant.

‘Delta’ coronavirus variant first found in India reaches US. Here’s what to know

No, people vaccinated against COVID-19 don’t shed the virus to others

Some are claiming that people vaccinated against COVID-19 can somehow ooze the coronavirus out of their bodies and infect the unvaccinated. But such a claim is far from the scientific truth. Many call it “vaccine shedding.”

While some versions of the conspiracy say the vaccines become exhalable once someone’s injected, others say the vaccine can be leaked out onto others via skin contact and make them sick.

The feat is impossible because the COVID-19 vaccines do not contain a live coronavirus inside of them, the CDC says. Vaccine shedding can only occur if a shot was made with a weakened version of the virus, such as the measles and chickenpox shots.

No, people vaccinated against COVID do not shed the virus to others. Here’s the truth

COVID-19 hospitalization rates in teens doubled in a month

After peaking in January and then steadily declining in the following months, COVID-19 hospitalization rates among teens nearly doubled from March to April, according to a new report.

Among 205 adolescents hospitalized for COVID-19 between January and March, about 31% were admitted to an intensive care unit and 5% required invasive mechanical ventilation, the CDC found. Still, none of the teens died from the disease in that time.

‘Deeply concerned:’ COVID hospitalization rates in teens doubled in a month, CDC says

Can you get a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccinations?

In the first months of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the U.S., health officials recommended postponing any other necessary immunizations for at least 14 days before or after getting your coronavirus shot, citing a lack of scientific data on the safety of coadministration.

“This was out of an abundance of caution and not due to any known safety or immunogenicity concerns,” the CDC said of its early guidance.

Although there still isn’t specific data available on mixing COVID-19 vaccines with other shots, the CDC and other experts say “extensive experience” with non-coronavirus vaccines shows the immune response and side effects experienced are typically the same when shots are administered together versus alone.

Can you get a COVID vaccine at the same time as other vaccinations? What experts say

Fewer Americans than ever are social distancing during pandemic

Fewer Americans are social distancing and wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic after the CDC released its updated guidance on masks.

A new Gallup poll found that 22% of Americans are social distancing from non-household people, which is down from 30% in April and 48% in January. Forty percent of respondents said they were “still isolating partially or a little” and 38% — the highest percentage to date — said they weren’t social distancing at all.

Fewer Americans than ever during COVID pandemic still social distancing, poll finds

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