10 COVID-19 vaccine myths you should know right now
COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are on track to protect us from the virus and get us back to whatever our new normal is. But like anything new, rumors about the vaccine are surging on social media, and so is speculation offered by friends and family. That makes it hard to know what’s real (Yes, it’s safe) and what’s not (No, it doesn’t include a tracking device).
Here are 10 of the latest COVID-19 vaccine myths debunked.
Myth #1: The vaccine isn’t safe because it was developed too quickly.
FACT: The impact of the worldwide pandemic prompted pharmaceutical companies to quickly develop a vaccine for COVID-19, but safety protocols and clinical trials weren’t rushed. Like all vaccines, the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines have been rigorously tested for safety before being authorized for use in the U.S.
Throughout development of the vaccines, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration closely monitored progress by Pfizer and Moderna. Because COVID-19 is similar to other coronaviruses seen in humans, previous research also helped speed up the process.
Research suggests both vaccines have very few, if any, side effects, and are considered about 95% effective.
Myth #2: The vaccine causes COVID-19.
FACT: The vaccines do not contain a live virus and do not carry a risk of causing disease in the vaccinated person. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use a new technology known as messenger RNA (mRNA).
Rather than delivering a live virus like some other vaccines, these vaccines contain part of the virus’ genetic information. That helps produce a viral protein that protects from infection if the real virus enters our bodies.
Myth #3: The vaccine alters your DNA.
FACT: The vaccine uses mRNA, which might be the reason for this unfounded rumor. In a nutshell, mRNA “instructs” cells in the body on how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. The vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell and does not affect or interact with a person’s DNA.
Myth #4: I only need one dose of the vaccine.
FACT: Sometimes, one dose of a vaccine isn’t enough to fully protect you against illness. When a vaccine requires two shots, like the COVID-19 vaccine, the first shot helps your body recognize the virus and prepares your immune system. The second shot strengthens that immune response and makes your body more prepared to fight infection.
Myth #5: Vaccines are just a way to microchip people.
FACT: There are no microchips in the vaccine and no government conspiracy to track your location or gather personal information into a database. This myth got traction after Bill Gates from The Gates Foundation made comments about a digital certificate of vaccine records. The technology he referenced is not a microchip, and it’s not at all tied to the development, testing or distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Myth #6: I’ve already had COVID-19 so I don’t need the vaccine.
FACT: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), due to the severe health risks associated with the virus and the fact that re-infection is possible, you should get a vaccine even if you’ve been sick with COVID-19. At this point, there’s not enough information available to say if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting the coronavirus again.
Myth #7: People with underlying conditions shouldn’t be vaccinated.
FACT: People who have underlying conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, are at high risk for COVID-19 complications, so it’s especially important they get vaccinated. If you have an underlying condition and you’re concerned, talk with your medical provider.
Myth #8: Once I get vaccinated, I don’t have to wear a mask or practice social distancing.
FACT: While the vaccine will protect you from getting ill from COVID-19, it is unknown whether you can still carry the virus and spread it to others. At this time, those who receive the vaccine should continue to wear masks and practice social distancing.
Myth #9: Getting the vaccine can make you infertile.
FACT: COVID-19 vaccines have not been linked to infertility or miscarriage. In fact, pregnant women who have coronavirus are at higher risk of hospitalization and complications, which is even more reason to get the vaccine.
Myth #10: My children will be forced to get the vaccine.
FACT: The COVID-19 vaccines that received emergency use authorization are not recommended for children under 16 years of age. The Pfizer vaccine is recommended for individuals 16 years and older, and the Moderna vaccine is recommended for people 18 years and older.
Follow the facts
When perusing information online about the COVID-19 vaccine, don’t fall for myths and misinformation. Learn how to spot fact vs. fiction online and find the trustworthy information you need.
Will COVID vaccines be offered at Indigo Urgent Care?
At this time, we do not expect to be distributing COVID-19 vaccines at any of our Indigo Urgent Care locations. This could change in the months ahead as more vaccines become available. Follow Indigo on Facebook and check our website for the latest health news and updates.
In the meantime, if you or a family member needs a COVID-19 test, our friendly providers at Indigo can help. See more information about our COVID testing options.