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VERIFY: Yes, some people need a fourth COVID shot; No, there isn't a new variant called deltacron

Our Verify Team interviews a Johns Hopkins doctor to fact check what's true and what's not about COVID-19.

HOUSTON — What is true and what is not about COVID-19? There's so much information out there and not all of it is true. That's why people are turning to the Verify team for answers. 

We took their questions to Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

Claim: If you are vaccinated and get COVID-19, you have to start the vaccination process all over again, even if you've received a booster.  

False: Adalja said, “If you've gotten infected with COVID-19, it doesn't change the vaccination schedule, it's still the same for you, as if you hadn't been infected.”   

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Claim: The vaccine booster can cause false positives or false negative results.  

False: Adalja said, “The vaccine booster does not have anything to do with testing.”    

Claim: People with compromised immune systems need a fourth COVID shot to reach the same level of protection as others who have gotten the booster.  

True: Adalja said, “With the immunocompromised, we may need a different vaccine schedule because they respond poorly to vaccines. And it may not even be that the fourth dose is enough in the immunocompromised. That's why there are other products like ever shield which is a monoclonal antibody product for the immunocompromised.” 

Claim: Glass cleaners such as Windex can kill the COVID-19 virus.  

True: Adalja said, “But it depends on what you mean by that. So yes, on a surface, you may see decreased viability of the virus but that doesn't necessarily mean that you should be using that on your body or in your body. Lots of things can deactivate the virus outside of the body.” 

Claim: You can catch COVID-19 while handling money  

False: Adalja said, “COVID-19 is not something that is transmitted very efficiently through surfaces. So, I don't think that handling money is a major risk factor for the contraction of Covid-19.”  

Claim: You can catch COVID-19 When you pull down your mask to eat or drink.  

True: Adalja said, “If you're around somebody that has COVID-19 and you remove your mask to eat, that is a risk factor for contracting COVID-19. The shorter the period it's down, the less likely it is to occur, but it is a risk.” 

Claim: A KN95 mask can be sanitized and reused. 

True: Adalja said, “KN95 masks, although they're designed for single use, can be sanitized and reused. There are many methods that have been published. One is using a microwave oven and water to steam the KN95 masks. So, yes, these can be reused.”   

Claim: PCR tests can tell the difference between COVID-19 and the flu.  

True: Adalja said, “PCR tests are going to be very specific to what you're testing for. So, if you're testing for COVID, the COVID-19 PCR would be positive. If you're testing for flu, the flu PCR would be positive, and there are a combination tests that can distinguish between the two as well.”  

Claim: There is a new variant called deltacron.

False: Adalja said, “There was a report from Europe about a possible combination of delta and omicron. But that seems to be the result of laboratory contamination, and not some sort of hybrid version of the virus.”  

Click here for more on Dr. Adalja.

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