Myth: The vaccines aren’t safe because they were developed quickly. This is FALSE.
The COVID-19 vaccines themselves were developed quickly, but the clinical trials, which examine safety and efficacy, weren’t rushed at all. The COVID vaccines met the FDA’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization (EUA). COVID- 19 is similar to other coronaviruses we’ve seen in humans, like MERS and SARS, so there was previous research that could be used to speed up the process. And researchers have been studying and working with mRNA vaccines for decades.
Myth: The vaccines will likely lead to long-term effects. This is FALSE.
Serious side effects that would cause a long term health problem are extremely unlikely following COVID 19 vaccination. Long term side effects following any vaccination are extremely rare. CDC continues to closely monitor COVID 19 vaccines and will thoroughly investigate any connection found between a safety issue and a vaccine.
Myth: You can get COVID-19 from the vaccines. This is FALSE.
There’s no live virus in the vaccines, so they can’t infect you. Basically, the vaccines teach our bodies to produce one single protein from the virus—and that enables us to mount an immune response if the real virus enters our bodies. By making that protein, we prevent infection. You might have side effects like a headache or chills, but that’s because your body is creating an immune response, not because you have an infection.
Myth: I’ve already had COVID-19, so I don’t need to get vaccinated. This is FALSE.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that those who have had COVID-19 get the vaccine. There is preliminary evidence that the vaccine offers better protection than having had the virus.
Plus, it’s sometimes hard to know whether you actually had COVID if you were diagnosed before there was widespread testing available. Also, some of the tests aren’t always 100% accurate.
Myth: People with underlying conditions shouldn’t get vaccinated. This is FALSE.
People who have underlying conditions, like diabetes or heart disease, are high risk for developing complications from COVID-19, so they should discuss vaccination with their healthcare provider. IF you have severe allergies related to vaccines or medication, you should talk to your healthcare provider before getting a COVID vaccine.
Myth: People with suppressed immune systems shouldn’t get vaccinated. This is FALSE.
People with suppressed immune systems (from cancer treatments or autoimmune diseases) can be vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccine does not contain live virus. Those with suppressed immune systems will still get protection from COVID-19, just not as much protection as those with healthy immune systems. People with underlying health conditions or concerns should discuss vaccination with their healthcare provider.
Myth: Once I get vaccinated, I don’t have to wear masks or practice social distancing. This is FALSE.
You still have to wear masks and social distance in public. However, per the CDC, fully vaccinated people can socialize with other fully vaccinated people without masks or social distancing in private. These vaccines are highly effective but there is still a small chance you could get COVID after being vaccinated. After all, no vaccine is 100% effective. Get a vaccine, wear your mask and encourage people around you to get their vaccine. Once there are enough people vaccinated, we can start to live life the way it was before the pandemic!
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccines will alter your DNA. This is FALSE.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use messenger RNA (mRNA) to protect us from COVID-19. mRNA basically gives our cells the blueprints for the factories that will build the protein to protect us from COVID-19. People get scared that mRNA will cause the virus to go into our DNA and mutate us, but it does not even go into the center part of the cell where we have our DNA.
Myth: If you get vaccinated, it could make you infertile. This is FALSE.
There is no data from the clinical trials or any theoretical reason as to why the vaccines would cause infertility. In fact, we know that pregnant women with COVID-19 infections could have a miscarriage or go into premature labor, which is all the more reason to get the vaccine.
Myth: If I’m pregnant or breastfeeding, I definitely shouldn’t get vaccinated. This is FALSE.
The CDC believes it is fine for pregnant women to get the vaccine. If you’re pregnant and in a group that should be urgently vaccinated, like a healthcare worker, you should get vaccinated. If you’re concerned about the risks versus the benefits, talk to your healthcare provider.
For more information, go to:
Kelly Palm, MSN, FNP-C
WSU Health Services