Busted! Don’t Believe These COVID-19 Vaccine Myths!

Author: Evergreen Medical Clinic | | Categories: Family Doctor , Medical Clinic , Patient Care


Did you know that wearing a facemask and practicing social distancing only reduces the risk of being exposed to COVID-19, but getting vaccinated helps fight against Coronavirus variants? It protects your body from being infected and reduces the impacts of the virus should you become infected. However, due to the COVID-19 vaccine being created and approved quicker than the average vaccine, there is widespread misinformation about the vaccine’s effectiveness, and side effects have been disseminated.

To put your mind at ease and arm you with the truth, the medical experts at Evergreen Medical Clinic have debunked some of the most widely believed myths about the COVID-19 vaccine. Keep reading to clear up confusion with reliable facts!

Myth 1: The vaccine will give me COVID-19
Vaccines prime your immune system to recognize and fight off viruses, but they don’t actually cause an infection. The Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines contain a strand of genetic material called messenger RNA, or mRNA. When the mRNA enters your cells, it instructs them to make a piece of the “spike” protein that’s present on the Coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Those protein pieces don’t actually harm your body, but they do trigger your immune system to mount a response to fight them off.

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine delivers DNA that encodes the spike protein, but it is delivered by another type of virus that is safe. You might have some fatigue, muscle aches, a headache, or fever after you get the vaccine. That’s normal with any vaccine, and it’s a sign that your immune system is responding.

Myth 2: We can’t trust COVID-19 vaccines because they were rushed
The first vaccines for COVID-19 do involve new technology, and they were developed in record time. But it’s not because there were shortcuts in the process. Again, messenger RNA, or mRNA, is the new technology at the center of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines. While this is the first time it is widely used in a vaccine for the public, researchers have been working on this vaccine strategy for more than three decades.

“It was a lucky thing that the technology has been robustly developed quite well over the last few years and tested in several animal models of infection, so we knew that it was safe and worked quite well in these animal models,” Dr. Stappenbeck says. “When COVID-19 came around, this was an obvious opportunity to use this novel technology, and vaccine developers were poised to do it.”

The companies put their vaccines through rigorous clinical trials involving tens of thousands of volunteers. In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration requires them to follow up with volunteers for up to two years after receiving the vaccines to make sure they are safe and effective. Because of how prevalent COVID-19 is, it only took a few months for the clinical trials to collect enough data to make an initial evaluation.

The FDA and an independent panel of vaccine experts closely scrutinized the data from those trials and deemed Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines safe and effective for emergency use (and the Pfizer vaccine has now received full FDA approval). Similar independent panels in several other countries are in agreement.

Myth 3: We don’t know what’s in these vaccines
All three U.S. vaccine makers have published the ingredient lists for their vaccines, available on their websites. The CDC’s website also tells you what’s in the COVID-19 vaccines. The star ingredient is the COVID-19 mRNA (in Modern and Pfizer) or DNA (in Johnson & Johnson) for the spike protein. Both vaccines also contain lipids (fats) that help deliver the mRNA into your cells and a few other common ingredients that help maintain the pH and stability of the vaccine.

Despite theories circulated on social media, none of the COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips or any form of tracking device.

Myth 4: These vaccines will alter my DNA
This myth is especially targeted at the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but the bottom line is that none of the COVID-19 vaccines can alter your DNA. Both vaccines use mRNA to instruct our cells to make a piece of the Coronavirus’s hallmark spike protein to spark an immune system response. Once the mRNA does that, our cells break it down and get rid of it.

“Messenger RNA is something that’s made from DNA, but it’s not designed to integrate with our DNA, and it doesn’t permanently change our genome and who we are in any way,” as per trusted CDC research resources.

Myth 5: I already had COVID-19, so I won’t benefit from the vaccine
It’s possible to get COVID-19 more than once. Your body’s immunity from infection wanes over time, so the antibodies it creates when you recover from Coronavirus won’t protect you from reinfection in the long term.

But vaccination may. Data indicates that the vaccine provides longer protection than natural infection, showing that unvaccinated people are 2.34 times more likely to be reinfected with COVID-19 than those who are fully vaccinated.

So far, breakthrough cases are possible but somewhat uncommon, particularly in vaccinated people who have recovered from the virus. But this is quickly changing, as the percentage of breakthrough cases is increasing to a rate higher than anticipated. As a result, a third vaccination may be required.

Myth 6: Since COVID-19’s survival rate is so high, I don’t need a vaccine
It’s true that most people who get COVID-19 can recover. But it’s also true that some people develop severe complications. The World Health Organization reports that so far, about 4.4 million people around the world have died from COVID-19, and that doesn’t account for people who survived but needed to be hospitalized. Because the disease can damage the lungs, heart, and brain, it may also cause long-term health problems that experts are still working to understand.

There’s another reason to get the vaccine; it protects others. Even if COVID-19 doesn’t make you very sick, you could pass it on to someone else who might be more severely affected. Widespread vaccination protects populations, including those who are most at risk and those who can’t be vaccinated.

If you’re looking to steer clear of more myths like these, reach out to Evergreen Medical Clinic

As caring family physicians, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine service providers in Miramichi, NB, we strive to keep up to date through continued learning, conferences, and ongoing teaching. Our professional team of doctors makes sure to provide the best care possible for patients through knowledgeable, compassionate, empathic care.

We serve clients across Miramichi, Kent Junction, Noinville, Rogersville, Barnaby, Napan, South Esk, Derby, Millerton, Renous, Blackville, Sunny Corner, Burnt Church, Barryville, Neguac, Fairisle, Lavillette, Saint Margarets, Saint-Ignace, and Bay Du Vin, New Brunswick.

For a complete list of our services, please click here. If you have any questions about the medical sector, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us here.

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