Basketball star Bradley Beal’s misleading comments on COVID-19

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Bradley Beal, No.3 of the Washington Wizards, at Media Day on September 27 in Washington, DC Photo by Rob Carr / Getty Images.

“Yes, I had [COVID-19] but that doesn’t mean I can’t have it anymore. It’s no different than with someone with the vaccine. Yes, I developed the antibodies for it, so my chances would be less likely now, right? But still a possibility that I can get it. Just as there are players, coaches and staff who are [vaccinated] and the missing camp because of [COVID-19] right now, ”Beal said.

Beal is correct that he should have some natural immunity, but, as we have already written, previously infected people may benefit from a COVID-19 vaccine. In August, the CDC released a to study who found unvaccinated Kentucky residents infected with SARS-CoV-2 in 2020 were 2.3 times more likely to be re-infected in May and June 2021 compared to fully vaccinated people.

E. John Wherry, director of the Institute of Immunology, University of Pennsylvania, FactCheck.org said in a telephone interview that vaccines improved the immune response in people who had previously been infected by increasing the levels of neutralizing antibodies.

“Some people actually have quite weak antibody responses that are not sufficient to neutralize the virus, especially variant viruses. When you vaccinate them uniformly, you get high antibody titers [measurements] and high neutralization titers, so there is an improvement in at least one of the key measures of immunity after vaccination ”, Wherry explained, one of the main authors of a to study by examining immune responses to mRNA vaccines in individuals with and without previous infections.

Beal said that he understands both sides of the “vaccination argument,” adding that his parents, older brothers and “people very close to him” are being vaccinated. He also said he had “very close and related people” with him who are not vaccinated.

Beal’s wife, Kamiah Adams-Beal, tweeted in January, “Go ahead and play with this vaccine if you want to.” ” In a separate Instagram post, she appeared to imply that the death of baseball legend Hank Aaron earlier this year was caused by the vaccine. As we reported, the Fulton County, Georgia Medical Examiner’s Office attributed Aaron’s death to natural causes.

Rare Risk of side effects

Béal too expressed concern about side effects vaccine. “Some people have bad reactions to the vaccine. Nobody likes to talk about it. What if one of our players gets vaccinated and can’t play after that or has complications after that because there are cases like that. But I feel like we don’t talk about them as heavily because they’re so small maybe? But they do exist. ”

CDC reports that Iall people who receive vaccines have mild side effects, such as pain at the injection site, headache, chills or fever. CDC also explains a “A small number of people have had a severe allergic reaction (called “anaphylaxis”) after vaccination, but this is rare. If this happens, vaccinators have drugs to treat the reaction effectively and immediately. There have been 2 to 5 cases of anaphylaxis per 1 million doses of vaccine administered, according to the CDC.

The CDC is also continue to investigate the relationship between Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines and rare cases of myocarditis (an inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (an inflammation of the surrounding wall of the heart), especially in men 30 years of age and younger. As of September 22, the CDC and FDA have confirmed 892 reports of myocarditis or pericarditis reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. Most of the patients “responded well to treatment and to rest and quickly felt better”, CDC Notes. Over 370 million doses of Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines were administered in the United States

The the following day At the NBA press conference, Beal said he “is still considering getting the shot.”

While the NBA does not mandate vaccinations for all players, individual teams have the power to require vaccinations for players and staff during the season. New York and San Francisco players are obligatory get vaccinated to play at home, unlike Beal and the Wizards.

Michele Roberts, outgoing Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association, said Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports in July that 10% of the league’s players were still not vaccinated. The WNBA announced in June that 99% of its players were fully vaccinated.

Editor’s Note: COVID-19 Project / SciCheck Vaccination is made possible by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The foundation has no control on FactCheck.org’s editorial decisions, and the opinions expressed in our articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the foundation. The goal of the project is to increase exposure to accurate information about COVID-19 and vaccines, while reducing the impact of misinformation.

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