COVID-19 vaccine myths are running rampant, and these inaccurate and unfounded beliefs could be putting your health and the health of others at risk.
Wild theories about the vaccine seem to be everywhere, but The Doctors want to stress the importance of getting vaccinated against the virus and help debunk some common myths about a vaccine that could save your life and the lives of your loved ones and community members.
Myth: The Vaccine Was Rushed and Therefore is Unsafe
Yes, the COVID-19 vaccines being used were developed at an incredible speed, but health experts and The CDC stress all safety steps were taken. HuffPo notes, "Drug manufacturers and the government simply removed many of the bureaucratic inefficiencies that typically slow the process" and notes clinical trials were conducted and the vaccines proved to be safe. The CDC and the FDA continue to monitor and study the safety of the vaccine as an added layer of safety, and not because they are worried it is harmful.
Myth: The Vaccine Will Change Your DNA
The COVID vaccine uses messenger RNA, or mRNA, which instructs our body's cells to produce a piece of the spike protein (which is harmless) found on the surface of the virus. This will help your body trigger an immune response that produces antibodies and protects you from an infection. An important note from HuffPo health experts: "mRNA vaccines don’t interact with a person’s DNA... [and] messenger RNA doesn’t even stick around in our cells for very long." Nicole Iovine, the chief epidemiology officer at University of Florida Health Shands Hospital, weighs on this fear, explaining, "Messenger RNA just goes into the outer part of our cell, called the cytoplasm. And it doesn’t enter into the nucleus, so it doesn’t have access to our DNA.”
Myth: The Vaccine Will Cause Severe Allergic Reactions
Early headlines about isolated allergic reactions to the vaccine were a major concern for many people. But, it is important to look beyond the headline and at the actual number of incidents. The CDC noted in late December, there were only 21 cases of anaphylaxis seen in the 1.8 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Infectious disease expert Linda Yancey stresses, "To get a severe allergic reaction to this vaccine would be less than a 1-in-a-million chance... compare that to a virus that if you get it, you have a 1 in 30 chance of dying and probably a 1 in 10 chance of lingering side effects for many months.” After getting the vaccine, you should be monitored for 15 minutes, and if you have a previous history of allergic reactions to vaccines speak with your doctor first. Get more information about the possibility of mild vaccine reactions, from the CDC.
Myth: With a 99% Survival Rate, Why Should I Worry If I Catch COVID?
The survival rate of the virus is still not known, and even just a 1 percent death rate translates into millions of deaths. Reuters notes, "Vaccine efficiency (which is upwards of 90% in most cases) and the survival rate are two separate measures... the vaccine efficiency is the probability the vaccine will prevent someone from catching COVID-19, while the survival rate is the likelihood that someone who has already contracted the disease will survive." So far, over 2 million people globally have died and over 390,000 Americans have lost their lives due to COVID. Additionally, COVID can create lasting and long-term health issues -- even if you recover. Health issues like brain fog, inflammation of the heart muscle, lung function abnormalities, acute kidney injury, ash, hair loss, smell and taste problems, sleep issues, difficulty with concentration, memory problems, depression, anxiety, and changes in mood have all been reported -- according to the CDC. The Doctors point out that many different diseases and viruses have high survival rates, but this does not mean steps to avoid contracting them should be avoided. Also, in many instances fighting an illness or dealing with its lasting effects can be the hardest part.
Myth: I Already Had COVID, I Don't Need the Vaccine
As The Doctors reported, a new study found having the virus only protects someone for around 5 months and it is possible to get COVID again. The CDC urges anyone who recovered from COVID should still get the vaccine.
And the Most Outlandish Myths: The Vaccine Is a Form of Government Control, the Vaccine Will Track Your Whereabouts, a Higher Power Will Better Protect Me from the Virus Than a Vaccine
None of these are true, accurate, or helpful in combating the COVID-19 virus.
Do you still have concerns about the vaccine? Get your most common COVID-19 vaccine questioned answered here. Also, speak with your doctor or healthcare provider -- and stop relying on social media posts from questionable sources.