How to Talk about Vaccines at Thanksgiving

May be an image of 6 people and text that says 'How to talk about vaccines at Thanksgiving The big thing to know when talking to family and friends about vaccine falsehoods during the holidays: It's better to respond with facts than to offer corrections.'

“Please pass the green beans.” “What kind of pie is that?”“What about spike proteins!?”These are some of the phrases that may be uttered during your Thanksgiving and holiday dinners this season. But! We have prepared a glossary for you. Swipe through a quick guide to some of the most misused terms around vaccines that PolitiFact has noticed in our fact-checking. And because we know that shouts of “that’s wrong!” don’t go over smooth like gravy, we’re including an expert’s advice on how to talk about vaccine falsehoods with family and friends.The big thing to know: It’s better to respond with facts than to offer corrections.”If they said something like ‘the vaccine is dangerous,’ include a statistic about how 75% of the people in their state have gotten vaccinated and none have died, or how severe and dangerous COVID-19 is,” said Rupali Limaye, an associate scientist at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. “And, ultimately, make sure you’re saying it all with empathy.”

May be an image of text that says '"Spike protein" The human body and other organisms are made up of a variety of proteins, and SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has its own. The virus' spike protein, which allows the virus to penetrate cells and cause infection, has sharp bumps that protrude from the surface of the virus' outer envelopes. COVID-19 vaccines introduce a piece of the protein- but not the harmful part of the virus which the immune system quickly identifies, attacks and destroys as a foreign invader.'
May be an image of text that says '"mRNA" The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines use messenger RNA to deliver an instruction manual to cells for making the coronavirus' spike protein. They're different from conventiona vaccines that use part of a bacterium or virus to induce protein production. The mRNA is fragile and quickly broken down in the body once the cells learn the blueprint, which is usually within three days of receiving the vaccine. The molecule does not we repeat, does not enter the nucleus of cells and alter a person's DNA.'
May be an image of text that says '"VAERS" VAERS stands for the Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System, a critical reporting tool for the federal government to collect and analyze data on after-effects from all vaccines, not just COVID-19. Unlike other government data sources, VAERS is designed so that anyone- parents, patients and health care professionals can report health effects that occur after a vaccination, whether or not those effects were caused by the vaccine. The reports aren't verified before they're entered, and anyone with a computer can access the data.'
May be an image of text that says '"Syncytin-1" Syncytin-1, a protein found in humans and some animals, is most known for helping develop the placenta, the temporary organ that helps nourish a fetus during pregnancy. Syncytin-1 and the coronavirus spike protein have almost nothing in common, making the vaccine highly unlikely to trigger a reaction. "If someone says they heard the vaccine causes infertility, would just respond with something direct- like that there are no studies that show a link between the vaccines and infertility Zero," an expert said.'
May be an image of text that says '"Ivermectin" vermectir is an anti-parasitic medication that has been widely touted as a COVID-19 treatment despite health authorities warning against COVID-19 patients self-medicating with the drug. When people started to believe it could treat COVID- 19, some of them ingested forms of the drug made for animals, causing a dramatic uptick in calls to poison control. Officials warn that more research is still needed on ivermectin's effectiveness as a COVID-19 treatment.'
May be an image of text that says 'A final word about words The best way to talk through different views on vaccines with loved ones is by making your point in a personal context that takes the focus off them. "Think of family member they want to protect, so it's not all about them," said Rupali Limaye, an associate scientist at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health." "Like 'Hey, I'm really concerned about grandma and just want to make sure we are doing all we can to protect her. It leaves the pressure off them but they still have some skin in the game."'

Axios-Ipsos poll: Thanksgiving Roulette

https://www.axios.com/axios-ipsos-poll-thanksgiving-covid-7a043049-d25c-4d3a-9bab-2853973f67af.html

Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans are ready to play COVID roulette for  Thanksgiving

Two-in-three Americans will celebrate this Thanksgiving with friends or family outside their immediate households, and about half of those say their gatherings could include unvaccinated people, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: Vaccinations and booster shots are giving more people confidence to resume traditions like sitting around a packed table with masks off. But many are doing so with heightened awareness of what they don’t know when it comes to their holiday companions.

  • This year, 31% see a large or moderate risk in seeing friends or family for Thanksgiving — way down from 64% a year ago.
  • People’s assessment of overall risk of returning to their normal pre-COVID lives is also down, with 44% seeing it as a large to moderate risk this year compared with 72% last year.
  • But when Americans are asked how concerned they still feel about the virus, the numbers haven’t diminished all that much: 69% compared with 85% a year ago.

What they’re saying: “We’re just in a holding pattern,” said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs.

  • “They’re going to Thanksgiving because they have to, they have to see their family and friends, it’s human nature,” Young said. “But Americans are still deploying mitigating strategies.”
  • Ipsos pollster and senior vice president Chris Jackson said the vaccines “have attenuated some of that risk. But there’s a larger sense of anxiety or concern that hasn’t been dealt with.”

By the numbers: 67% of U.S. adults surveyed said they’ll see friends or family outside their households. That’s 73% of Republicans, 70% of independents and 63% of Democrats.

  • 30% of them said the guests will include unvaccinated people, and another 17% said they don’t know whether other guests will be vaccinated or not.
  • 38% said they’ll be with people who don’t regularly wear masks outside the home, while another 21% said they didn’t know if their guests regularly wear masks.
  • 4% said they’ll be seeing people who’ve been exposed to COVID-19 in the last two weeks; another 28% aren’t sure if people at their gatherings have been exposed.

Between the lines: There’s a modest partisan gap around openness to returning to the communal Thanksgiving table — but a gulf around who you’re willing to sit with.

  • 41% of Republicans expect to spend the holiday with someone who’s unvaccinated, compared with 17% of Democrats.
  • When we asked unvaccinated respondents, 56% of those who will celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family outside the home expect the guests to include other unvaccinated people.

The big picture: This week’s findings show overwhelming support (86%) for every vaccinated American who wants a booster being able to get one. But only about one in four respondents said they knew much about an anti-viral COVID-19 pill awaiting FDA approval.

  • 23% hadn’t heard about the pill at all, and half had heard of it but said they didn’t know much about it.
  • When the unvaccinated were asked whether they’d rather get a shot to prevent the virus, or wait to catch the virus and then take an approved pill to treat it, the pill drew a slight edge (17% versus 12%) and 15% had no preference, while a majority — 53% — said they’d prefer to take neither.
  • That suggests the pill won’t be a silver bullet — and offers more evidence that there is a segment of American society that doesn’t trust science or government to tell them what to do.