Myths vs. Facts – COVID-19 Vaccination

The health care systems are working rapidly to distribute COVID-19 vaccines as efficiently as possible, but some myths are creating fears over the vaccines and influencing the decision – Should I get vaccinated or not? 

Here are some of the myths about COVID-19 vaccines-

MYTH: Development of the vaccine was rushed

FACT: The development of vaccines was quick and fast-tracked; it was not rushed. In fact, thousands of participants were studied in the safety and efficacy trials. As the COVID-19 virus was so widespread and disease occurs soon after infection, it was possible to complete the studies much sooner.

MYTH: One vaccine is better than the other

FACT: The vaccines are very similar and based on the same technology. People should get whichever vaccine is offered to them as soon as possible.

MYTH: mRNA vaccine cannot be trusted because it’s a new type of vaccine

FACT: Messenger RNA is a small molecule made by cells in your body and by bacteria and viruses. It’s a blueprint for how to make a protein.

While it is true that mRNA vaccines have not been widely used before, but these vaccines have been tested in thousands of people to demonstrate both safety and efficacy.

MYTH: The second dose of the vaccine is not needed

FACT: You need two doses of the vaccine because that is what was studied and shown to work for immunity.

When you get first exposed to a vaccine, your body generates cells that can recognize that foreign substance. The second time, you develop stronger and long-term immunity.

MYTH: The vaccine will not protect against new COVID-19 variants

FACT: Not necessarily. It is normal for viruses to mutate.

Moving forward, vaccine efficacy could lessen as more variants emerge over time. This is why it’s essential to get the population vaccinated and limit transmission as soon as possible.

MYTH: Healthcare workers are getting the vaccine first because they are more important.

FACT: The FDA, CDC, and ACIP identified health care personnel who are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and who are most at risk of exposure to the virus had been identified in this initial group to continue taking care of patients.

MYTH: Older adults with poor health should not get the vaccine

FACT: It is even more important for older adults to get vaccinated.

This group is at higher risk of hospitalization, complications, and even death. Trails have shown the vaccines were safe and effective in older adults also.

MYTH: Those who have allergies should not get the vaccine

FACT: If you’ve had a previous severe allergic reaction such as face swelling, difficulty breathing, etc., then you should discuss with your doctor whether it’s safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Common allergies like hay fever or food allergies are not a reason to avoid the vaccine.

MYTH: You don’t need to get the vaccine if you’ve already had COVID

FACT: No. Those who already had COVID-19 should get vaccinated.

The CDC recommends getting the vaccine as re-infection with COVID-19 is possible.

MYTH: The vaccine can harm fertility or pregnancy

FACT: There is no reason to think the vaccine will harm fertility, as it has not been tested in pregnant women.

Therefore, pregnant women should consult their obstetrician and discuss whether the vaccine is appropriate for them or not.

MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines can make you sick

FACT: COVID-19 vaccines cannot make you sick

You may have some side effects- injection site pain, muscle aches, chills, fatigue, and fever.

MYTH: You can ditch the mask after getting vaccinated

FACT: Two weeks after the second dose, there is 95% protection.

Until we get to the point of limited community transmission, people should continue to take precautions that they normally take- wear a mask, physically distance, and regularly wash hands.

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