Correcting Common Covid-19 Vaccine Myths and Misconceptions
Myth: When the numbers of new infections of COVID-19 in a country are low then vaccination is not required.
Fact: COVID-19 is spread easily from person to person. If the population does not follow all the personal health precautions, then it becomes very easy for a country to experience a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.
In order to protect our most vulnerable persons from getting the disease, or worse yet dying, we must take all steps possible to prevent the spread of the disease, including taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
Myth: If you follow all of the personal health precautions then you do not need to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
Fact: While the vaccine will reduce your risk of getting COVID-19, we still don’t know the extent to which it prevents you from spreading the virus to others.
Additionally, you will only get maximum protection approximately 3 weeks after you receive the final dose of the vaccine.
Following the NEW NORMAL guidelines will help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others.
Members of the public should continue to:
- Wear a mask over the nose and mouth when out in public
- Keep their distance from others (6 feet)
- Stay home if ill
- Wash hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Cough into a tissue or into the crook of the elbow
- Avoid touching their face
- Clean then sanitize surfaces (e.g. table tops, door knobs and cell phones).
Myth: Since the COVID-19 survival rate is high, vaccination is not required.
Fact: Although the survival rate is high globally, the lifelong complications due to infection by COVID-19, called Long COVID-19, are a reality. The disease can cause long-term health problems such as lung, heart and brain damage.
Myth: If you already had COVID-19 you will not need to get the vaccine.
Fact: There is no evidence to indicate the length of time that a person will have natural immunity after they have recovered from COVID-19. Natural immunity is the natural protection your body creates after you recover from a disease.
It is known that natural immunity to the virus reduces over time. So currently, under the EUA, individuals who have previously been infected with COVID-19 are eligible to receive the vaccine, however, vaccination should be given at least 6 months after the COVID-19 infection.
It should also be noted that there have been reported cases of re-infection.
Myth: If you are not at risk for severe complications of COVID-19, you don’t need the vaccine.
Fact: Although a person may not fall in the high risk category, there is still the chance that the person will get the disease. Anyone can contract and spread the virus to others, even to persons in high risk groups. Apart from the protection that the COVID-19 vaccine may offer to the person who receives it, the vaccine may also reduce the risk of spreading the disease to others.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine was developed to control the general population either through microchip tracking or nano transducers in our brains.
Fact: There is no vaccine "microchip," and the vaccine will not track people or gather personal information into a database. This myth started after comments were made by a public figure about the creation of a digital certificate of vaccine records. The technology referenced is not a microchip, has not been implemented in any manner, and is not tied to the development, testing or distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Myth: mRNA COVID-19 vaccines should not be trusted since they were rushed.
Fact: Although the mRNA vaccines are considered a new form of medical therapy, researchers and scientist have been working on this specific type of vaccine for many years.
Scientists had already begun research for Coronavirus vaccines during previous outbreaks caused by related Coronaviruses, such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). That earlier research provided a head start for rapid development of vaccines to protect against infection with the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Myth: We don’t know the components of the vaccine.
Fact: The full ingredient list for all COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved by the WHO and other reputable international agencies have been disclosed and are publicly available.
Information on the components of the vaccine is publicly available.
Myth: The vaccine will alter my DNA.
Fact: The COVID-19 vaccine does not make changes to the DNA of the recipient.
Myth: COVID-19 vaccines are not being tested against placebos in clinical trials.
Fact: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), all vaccines that are in Phase 3 clinical trials and those that have been given Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the PAHO/WHO have all included comparisons with placebos.
Myth: Vaccines cause health conditions like Autism.
Fact: Some people have had concerns that Autism might be linked to vaccines, but several studies have shown that there is no link between receiving vaccines and Autism.
Myth: Natural Immunity Is Better Than Vaccine-acquired Immunity.
Fact: Natural immunity is the natural protection your body creates after you recover from a disease.
Although there is currently limited data on how prior infection with COVID-19 affects the efficacy of the vaccine, it is known that natural immunity to the virus reduces over time. So currently, under the EUA, individuals who have previously been infected with COVID-19 are eligible to receive the vaccine however vaccination should be given at least 6 months after COVID-19 infection.
COVID-19 spreads easily and has significant possible negative outcomes, including death. Thus the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 is much higher than the very rare risk of a severe adverse effect from an approved COVID-19 vaccine.
Myth: Diseases have “disappeared” before. This will also happen with COVID-19 and therefore, it is not necessary to vaccinate against the disease.
Fact: Diseases such as the Bubonic Plague, Whooping Cough and the Scarlet Fever were all thought to have been eradicated and have now re-emerged. It is safer to be proactive and vaccinate against such deadly diseases.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccines were developed using fetal tissue.
Fact: Current approved COVID-19 vaccines were not created with and do not require the use of fetal cell cultures in the production process.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine promotes infertility in women.
Fact: This is false. It was rumored that the Pfizer BioNTech mRNA vaccine contained a spike protein called syncytin-1 which can cause female sterilization. Experts have indicated that while syncytin-1 and the spike protein broadly share some features, they are quite different in the details that antibodies recognize.
Myth: COVID-19 mRNA vaccines can cause you to get infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Fact: The COVID-19 vaccine cannot give someone COVID-19. mRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19. They do not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA (genetic material) is kept.
Myth: COVID-19 vaccine injections, shown during press events being delivered to health care workers, are fabricated, using syringes with ‘disappearing needles’.
Fact: Some of the injections of the COVID-19 vaccine shown in viral videos were delivered using retractable syringes, not ‘disappearing needles’, where the needlepoint automatically retracted into the barrel of the syringe once the dose of medication was delivered. Retractable syringes are typically used to reduce needlepoint injuries, (e.g. to prevent a nurse or a lab worker accidentally puncturing their skin with a used needle).
Myth: There are severe side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Fact: COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to have short-term mild or moderate vaccine reactions. The main side effects experienced include headache, fever, chills and fatigue. These side effects indicate that your immune system is responding to the vaccine and are common when receiving vaccines.
While it is very rare, there have been reports of a few cases of severe allergic reactions to the vaccine. It is therefore very important that members of the public answer all of the health screening questions honestly and completely.
Myth: Many people have already died from the COVID-19 vaccine trial.
Fact: There are no confirmed reports of patients dying during clinical trials due to the COVID-19 vaccine. One person in the AstraZeneca trial died, but this patient received the placebo, therefore the death was not related to the vaccine.
Myth: COVID-19 vaccines cannot be used for the new variants.
Fact: Confirmatory tests are currently being performed to determine if the current vaccines can provide adequate protection against the variant strains. However, even if the virus were to mutate further, the experts say, the vaccines could be rapidly reprogrammed to remain effective against new variants, just as the Influenza (flu) vaccine is reformatted every year to deal with variants.
Myth: Taking the vaccine will make me test positive for the virus.
Fact: Persons who take the COVID-19 vaccine (either through a PCR or antigen test) will not test positive for the virus.
Myth: More Vaccinated Than Unvaccinated People Get Sick
Fact: When there’s an outbreak of a disease that’s rare for a given area, unvaccinated people aren’t the only ones at risk. No vaccination is 100% effective, a very limited number of vaccinated individuals will also get the disease but it will most likely be much more mild.
In fact, during an outbreak, the number of vaccinated individuals who get sick will often outnumber the unvaccinated people who get sick since most of the population tends to get vaccinated.