COVID-19 vaccinations have started around the world, and there are still many people who don’t trust the vaccine. While skepticism is understandable as long as people are willing to find out more information and make a decision, there are also many myths in circulation.
People are either simply misinformed about the vaccine, or taken in by anti-vaccine propaganda that keeps circulating around.
There are 7 common myths about the COVID vaccines and we need to debunk these myths so that people can start to trust the vaccine.
Myth #1: People are getting Coronavirus after taking the vaccine
Some news reports have also exaggerated this myth. But the truth is that the COVID vaccine does not contain the live virus – so it’s impossible for anyone to get infected because of taking the vaccine.
The only possibility is that some people might have caught the virus before getting the vaccine, and their test results show positive until the vaccine takes its time to be fully effective.
Myth #2: The COVID vaccine can change your genetic code
The COVID vaccines by Pfizer/BioTech and Moderna use an mRNA platform instead of the conventional “live virus” method. Some people are concerned whether this mRNA can alter their DNA.
According to Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health:
The term “mRNA” stands for messenger RNA, which is a portion of the genetic code that teaches cells how to make a protein. The protein that’s made by the mRNA then activates an immune response, teaching our bodies how to respond to coronavirus if we come into contact with it in the future.
The mRNA from the vaccine never interacts with our DNA, and it won’t change our genetic code at all.
Myth #3: The vaccine was rushed through development and it isn’t as effective
Many people have claimed that the COVID vaccine was rushed through testing and it might have side effects. Doctors say that the technology used in the vaccine has been around for decades – and the previous outbreaks of SARS and MERS viruses have actually prepared the scientists to handle the Coronavirus outbreak. So there were no shortcuts taken in the development of this vaccine.
Myth #4: COVID vaccine is causing severe allergies
It’s plausible for many medicines to cause allergic reactions. That’s why people are kept into monitoring for half an hour after they have received the vaccine. Allergies are extremely rare in the case of COVID vaccines, and if they do happen – then the treatment is rather simple and quick.
Myth #5: We don’t know if the vaccine provides lasting immunity
It’s true that scientists don’t know how long the immunity will last after taking the vaccine. Some studies say that the immunity could last for several months before the effects of the vaccine wear off – or the virus itself mutates to overcome the vaccine.
Scientists are considering the outcome that we might need to take the COVID vaccine on an annual basis like the flu shot.
Myth #6: Only the old and sick people should get the vaccine
Ideally, anyone can get the vaccine and they should if it’s available to them. But the doses are low in numbers in currently, so the priority is being given to the elderly people and the people with underlying medical conditions that make them vulnerable to a serious Coronavirus infection.
Young people are not immune or invulnerable to Coronavirus, so everyone needs to get the vaccine. It’s also important if we want to build herd immunity against the virus – that’s when the spread of the virus will slow down and stop.
Myth #7: You can stop wearing the mask after getting the vaccine
Doctors say that getting a vaccine stops you from getting sick, but it is still possible that you might be a carrier of the virus and can spread it to others. It’s still not known if the vaccine prevents people from spreading the virus to others, and that’s why everyone needs to wear a mask even if they have been vaccinated.