The Real Story About COVID Vaccines: What We Know, What We Don’t

Episode 155 1h 54m


There’s no way around it, we’re being bombarded by an insane amount of information when it comes to COVID-19, and not all of it makes sense. As vaccines make their way across the country, the questions are only increasing and it can feel overwhelming to find answers from expert sources. While we don’t have all the answers, we are learning more every day. We’ve seen that for people 15 and older, COVID-19 can double our risk of dying this year. And while we know chronic disease puts us at an increased risk for severity and death, we don’t know why some perfectly healthy people still can’t fight this virus off. We’re seeing that vaccines will be a dramatic help for this virus, helping to reduce the risk of severe symptoms and death, but that they won’t stop transmission. I really wanted to talk to someone in-depth about where we are with COVID-19, what we can count on with the vaccines, and what we still don’t know. I knew Dale Harrison would be the perfect scientist to help me break down this topic. We kick things off with a clear explanation of how mRNA vaccines work, why they’re safe, and why they are more protective than catching the actual virus. Looking at the latest available vaccine studies, Dale walks us through the most intriguing points from the AstraZeneca trial which he feels is the most thorough so far. Achieving herd immunity is something we keep hearing about, but how realistic is it really? We discuss the four key components of herd immunity and why Dale does not think it’s something we’ll be able to reach. While many are hopeful the vaccine will mean a complete return to “normal” life, Dale and I talk about why this won’t likely be the case if we want to stay safe and keep others safe. While the vaccine will help reduce the risk and severity of the disease, it doesn't prevent us from becoming infected and passing it along to others. Spreading in this way could actually lead to accelerated growth if we don’t keep the virus in check. We discuss why now is not the time to stop all safety measures like mask wearing and hand-washing, which are actually important complements to the vaccines. We also discuss what vaccine mandates might look like, vaccine boosters, why we still need to focus on diet and lifestyle interventions to stay resilient, and so much more. This is an in-depth and extremely informative episode. I hope you’ll tune in. This episode is brought to you by Bioptimizers, Thrive Market, and Athletic Greens. Right now you can try Bioptimizers Magnesium Breakthrough for 10% off, just go to and use the code HYMAN10 at checkout. Thrive is offering all Doctor's Farmacy listeners an amazing deal. You will receive an extra 25% off your first purchase and a free gift when you sign up for Thrive Market. Just head over to Athletic Greens is offering Doctor’s Farmacy listeners a full year supply of their Vitamin D3/K2 Liquid Formula free with your first purchase, plus 5 free travel packs. Just go to to take advantage of this great offer.

Topics Covered

  • How COVID-19 vaccines are different from traditional vaccines


  • COVID risk considerations for young and healthy individuals


  • Unique elements of the AstraZeneca vaccine study, what vaccine effectiveness means, and why you can still spread the virus even if you are vaccinated


  • How the COVID vaccine is different from the measles and polio vaccines


  • What we do and do not know about potential short-term and long-term reactions to the vaccine


  • What the COVID vaccine does and does not protect against


  • The four things needed to achieve herd immunity and why Dale does not think it is realistic to think we will reach it


  • Weighing the effectiveness of wearing masks and social distancing


  • Vaccine mandates


  • How regularly will vaccination be needed to maintain immune protection?


  • Vaccine supply concerns and considerations


  • Protecting yourself from COVID-19 through diet, sleep, stress reduction, and other therapies


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Ep. 155 - The Real Story About COVID Vaccines: What We Know, What We Don’t