By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Growing up, we received all types of vaccines as a requirement to attend school.

Yet, there seems to be plenty of hesitancy with mRNA-based COVID vaccines.

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In an effort to get a better understanding, CBS4 invited three top South Florida doctors for a Q&A session on COVID-19 misconceptions.

After FIU infectious disease specialist Dr. Aileen Marty addressed that the vaccine does not affect the fertility of women, CBS4’s Lauren Pastrana asked Dr. Yvonne Johnson, the chief medical officer Baptist Health’s South Miami Hospital, why some hospital employees are among those reluctant to get vaccinated.

“I think that is because we are human beings. We are subject to some of the same forces, those staff members at our hospitals are subject to some of the same forces of misinformation that’s out there on social media and other sources,” she said. “I think somehow the name of the vaccine, that they are mRNA vaccines, has driven some of that misinformation and some of the notion that this somehow gets into one’s DNA and affect the fertility of women.”

WATCH: Part 1 Of Live Panel Discussion On COVID & Vaccines


Dr. Chad Perlyn then tackled the question of what makes mRNA-style vaccines different and if there should be any concern.

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“The mRNA vaccine is different than traditional vaccines. But there’s nothing new about the science behind it. The researchers who have developed it have been working on this technology for years and years, for many different things. That’s one of the reasons why we were able to get this vaccine out so quickly – was because all of the groundwork had been set beforehand,” he said. “The mRNA vaccine is different than some of the other vaccines. A polio vaccine, or that type of vaccine, that’s more similar to a Johnson & Johnson-type vaccine with the one shot is, compared to the Pfizer- or Moderna-type vaccines. But in our point of view, really the goal is to get vaccinated find what people are comfortable with and get vaccinated. The CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics and we here at Nicklaus Children’s recommend that all patients over the age of 12 without a pre-existing condition that were prohibited or another specified exemption get vaccinated.”

But what if your child is too young to get vaccinated?

The second half of the panel discussion focused on the young, who will be heading back to the classroom soon.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has made it clear he’s against mask mandates in schools, saying the decision to cover up should be left in the hands of parents.

WATCH: Part 2 Of Live Panel Discussion On Children & Masking


While Dr. Johnson said she wouldn’t debate the governor’s pro-choice stance, she did say “parents need to choose wisely and to choose to protect their children.”

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“Anyone 12 or older should get vaccinated. For those children who are under 12, and that’s face it most of the children who are in elementary school, they cannot be vaccinated. And what the CDC guidelines are is that if you are in a community where the virus is surging, and certainly Miami-Dade County the virus surging, we have a high transmission rate right now so we fit that category, so if you’re in one of those communities, you should mask when going indoors, whether or not you’ve been vaccinated,” she said. “But certainly our children who’ve not had the opportunity yet to be vaccinated need to be protected and they should be wearing a mask. So if those parents have a choice, they should choose to protect their children, they should choose to protect our community and they should choose to protect our children’s education.” Team