There are many misconceptions about the COVID-19 vaccination
When it comes to knowing everything there is to know about the COVID-19 vaccines, it is important to separate the myths from facts. Let’s review these common myths to clear up any misinformation you may have heard:
Myth: The vaccines’ development was rushed and is not safe.
Fact: The speed of the vaccines’ availability did not compromise vaccine development. The same scientific oversight was maintained throughout the entire process to ensure safe and effective vaccines for the public.
Myth: The vaccines’ chemical makeup is unsafe and will change your DNA.
Fact:The COVID-19 vaccines do not change DNA or interact with your DNA. Instead, the two options currently available – mRNA and viral vector vaccines – deliver harmless instructions to trigger an immune response to COVID-19 through different safe processes.
Myth: The vaccines will give you COVID-19.
Fact: None of the authorized vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19. However, the vaccines may cause temporary side effects similar to mild COVID-19 symptoms.
Myth: The vaccines are not needed if I already had COVID-19.
Fact: Individuals who have had COVID-19 should still be vaccinated. The length and amount of protection from antibodies after infection is unclear. Similar to other viruses, reinfection with COVID-19 is possible and has been reported.
Myth: The vaccines cause severe side effects.
Fact: For most, the vaccines cause mild side effects such as pain at the site of injection, fatigue, muscle pain, chills, headache, fever and nausea that resolve in a few days. It is very rare for someone to have a severe reaction.
Myth: The vaccines cause infertility in women.
Fact:There is no evidence of any vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccines, causing infertility. Available data show that there should not be a concern with fertility.
Myth: The vaccines are not safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Fact: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that the COVID-19 vaccine should be offered to breastfeeding women similar to non-breastfeeding women, and should not be withheld from pregnant women.
Myth: The vaccines will cause an allergic reaction.
Fact: Only a very small percentage (1.9 to 2.2 percent) of individuals had an allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccines, and serious allergic reactions occur in less than 0.001 percent of vaccine recipients.
Myth: The vaccines are not available for individuals with weakened immune systems or autoimmune conditions.
Fact: Individuals with weakened immune systems or autoimmune conditions may receive any of the COVID-19 vaccines currently available, though these individuals should first consult their physician.
Myth: The vaccines are not safe for all racial or ethnic groups.
Fact: While it is true that African Americans and people of Asian ancestry were underrepresented in the trials, there is no evidence suggesting racial or ethnic minorities may experience different or worse side effects.
Brandon Riddle is a community specalist at Baptist Health in Little Rock, Ark.