The U Of C's Dr. Emily Landon Answers Questions About The COVID-19 Vaccine

Dr. Emily Landon from the University of Chicago joined CBS 2’s Brad Edwards and Irika Sargent on Thursday to answer some questions about the coronavirus vaccines and how they work.

Video Transcript

- Joining us now, Dr. Emily Landon from the University of Chicago. Dr. Landon, if a vaccinated person gets the virus or is even just exposed to someone with the virus, what are the chances they can transmit the virus to someone else? And do they need to quarantine?

EMILY LANDON: Well, I'm going to start with the easy answers first. Someone who's been vaccinated has a very, very low risk of catching COVID, even if they have an exposure. And so there's no need to quarantine, and you do not need to get tested after that exposure. That's new guidance from the CDC.

But that risk isn't zero. So about 5% of people who receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines who get exposed to COVID may end up with symptomatic COVID. We don't have a good understanding of how many people can get asymptomatic COVID, but it's not going to be very many in the studies we've done of testing people who've been vaccinated.

- OK. Another viewer writes, one shot of Moderna is now 80% protection against severe COVID-19, while the J&J vaccine, which is just a one-shotter, 75%. That's less. So one Moderna is already 80%. That's pretty high. Is it really necessary, they want to know, to receive that second dose of Moderna?

EMILY LANDON: It is. So the Johnson & Johnson vaccine works differently than the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. And we know because of previous studies with other mRNA vaccines that you really need that second dose in order to get your antibodies high enough to last a long time. And so don't skip that second dose. It's OK if you don't get it right away or if you can't get into an appointment exactly on schedule. But try to get it as soon as you can.

- OK. Critically important information there. Thank you, Dr. Landon, for your time.