Categories: Coronavirus

COVID-19 Vaccines: All the myths debunked

Most people are all set to get vaccinated as it’s the first step to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Organizations should check local COVID-19 vaccine availability, know who is eligible and when and how vaccination can be received while maintaining the social distancing and safety guidelines in check. Unfortunately, you may come across some wrong information related to vaccines and their development which can lead to hesitancy on your part. In this blog, we separate the vaccine myths from facts to empower you to make the right decision.

MYTH: After getting COVID-19, I don’t need to get a vaccine.

FACT: People who have been infected with coronavirus may still have the benefits of getting a vaccine. Due to the severe health risk associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection is possible, you’re advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if you have been sick with COVID-19 before. There is insufficient information available currently to support how long people are protected after getting COVID-19 (natural immunity). Some early evidence recommended natural immunity for coronavirus may not last for extended periods though studies are still ongoing. Moreover, most experts believe that vaccines provide better protection for coronavirus than natural infection.

MYTH: Specific blood types have less severe COVID-19 infections, so getting a vaccine isn’t required. 

FACT: According to expert research, there is no reason to support that a particular blood type will lead to more severity of coronavirus. By opting to get vaccinated, you’re protecting not only yourself and your loved ones but your community too.

MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccine is risky because it was developed so quickly.

FACT: All the authorized vaccines for coronavirus are tested, approved, and proven safe and effective. Even though they were developed quickly, they have undergone the same strict Food and Drug Administration procedures as other vaccines, meeting all safety norms and standards. Most importantly, no steps were skipped. Instead, it’s such a massive success that experts with unprecedented global collaboration and investment were able to develop vaccines in such a short timeframe. In addition, all the clinical trials and safety reviews literally took the same amount of time as various other vaccines.

MYTH: The fatality rate of COVID-19 is so low, so I don’t have to get vaccinated.

FACT: Vaccines are made to reduce the risk of severe infection and the need to be hospitalized. People who are vaccinated are potentially less likely to transmit the COVID-19 disease. When many people are vaccinated, it will protect the community involving the vulnerable, underprivileged, and those who can’t be vaccinated. While vaccination is voluntary, all medically eligible people are encouraged to get the vaccine.

MYTH: Getting the COVID-19 vaccine leads to the COVID-19 virus.

FACT: The vaccine for coronavirus can’t and will not give you COVID-19. Moreover, the two authorized mRNA vaccines direct your cells to reproduce a protein that is part of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which guides your body to identify and combat the virus if it comes along. The coronavirus vaccine doesn’t include the SARS-Co-2 virus so that you won’t get COVID-19 from the vaccine.

MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccine leads to infertility in women.

 FACT: A lot of false information on social media suggests that the COVID-19 vaccine instructs the body to attack syncytin-1, a protein in the placenta, which could cause infertility in women. In reality, there’s an amino acid sequence shared between a placental protein and spike protein; though, experts explain it’s too short of triggering an immune response and thus doesn’t affect fertility.

MYTH: The coronavirus vaccine enters your cells and alters your DNA.

FACT: The coronavirus vaccines are well-designed to support your body’s immune system to battle against the COVID-19 virus. The messenger RNA from two of the first kinds of COVID-19 vaccines does enter your cells, but not in the nucleus of the cells where DNA lies. Moreover, the mRNA performs its job to lead the cells to generate protein to restore the immune system, and then it immediately breaks down without affecting your DNA.

MYTH: I’m not at risk for severe complications of COVID-19, so I shouldn’t get the vaccine.

FACT: Regardless of the risk, you can still get in contact with the coronavirus and spread it to others around. That’s why you must get vaccinated. After the COVID-19 vaccines are widely available, it’s suggested that as many eligible candidates as possible should get the vaccine. It’s not only to protect you and your family but the community as well.

MYTH: The side effects of the coronavirus vaccine are life-threatening.

FACT: Some coronavirus vaccines can have side effects, but the considerable majority experience only mild effects such as pain where they were injected, body aches, or fever, lasting for a day or two. There are some signs that the vaccine is working to stimulate your immune system. If these symptoms stay after two days, ensure to consult your doctor. If you experience allergies, particularly severe ones, discuss information about if and how you can get vaccines safely.

MYTH: You can’t get COVID-19 after vaccination.

FACT: The coronavirus vaccine is not 100% effective, so it’s possible to get the infection. A few weeks after you get the second dose of the vaccine, you’re fully vaccinated and 90% less likely to get infected by the COVID-19 virus. The vaccine will likely keep you from getting severely sick with the infection but won’t stop the virus from entering your body. Ensure to practise social distancing and wear masks in the public areas even after getting vaccinated.

MYTH: You don’t have to wear a mask after getting vaccinated for COVID-19.

FACT: It will take a lot of time for people to get vaccinated for the coronavirus. Even though the COVID-19 vaccine may prevent you from being severely sick, it’s currently unknown if you can still transfer and spread the virus to others around. Until further studies are done related to the vaccine and virus, it’s suggested to take precautions like mask-wearing, hand washing, social distancing.

In conclusion, avoid trusting any piece of information you see or read online related to COVID-19 vaccination which are not from verified sources. Instead, get in touch with your doctor, read articles and blogs from healthcare providers themselves or government sources of information on vaccines.

Dr. Dipesh Maskey | Consultant – Pulmonology | MMI Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Raipur

Narayana Health

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