Covid-19 Vaccine Myths Debunked

May 7, 2021

The US recently allowed anyone 16 or older to be eligible for the vaccine. Many Franklin High School students are wondering if they should become vaccinated, but are clouded by misinformation through anti-vaccination campaigns on several social media platforms. Below is a compilation of trustworthy health and news organizations that will correct some common myths about the Covid-19 vaccines.

Myth: The vaccine did not undergo enough trials and is being rolled out too quickly.

Fact: The efforts from pharmaceutical companies to invest their time and resources into the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines were in reaction to the emergency response required. The CDC says that they performed all of the required safety protocols and testing.

The Hynes Convention Center in Boston distributes vaccines in a parking garage.
Photo used with permission from Phoebe Eastman

The vaccine distribution may appear to be rushed because according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were created through a process that has already been around and they started to develop it at the beginning of the pandemic. Additionally, China gave the US their research on the virus to scientists so that their studies could be more prompt in making the vaccine.

In addition to the extensive amount of trials, over 100 million Americans have been fully vaccinated, which is 32 percent of the nation’s population. The two initial vaccines were proved to be 95% effective with no life-threatening side effects. 

Myth: I don’t want to get the vaccine because I might want to have kids later in my life.

Fact: The CDC says that no evidence has been found to support the idea that the Covid vaccine is linked to infertility.

This misunderstanding originated from the protein syncytin-1 that shares parts of the same genetic code as a small portion of the spike in the coronavirus. This protein is necessary for pregnancy in producing a placenta, leading people to believe that if Covid vaccines target this protein, it will lead to infertility. 

However, this is incorrect because WebMD has made it clear that “…no available mRNA vaccines target a protein called syncytin-1.” Paul Offit, MD, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, corrects this claim because people’s natural antibodies against Covid do not target syncytin-1. He remarks that “if natural infection doesn’t alter fertility, why would a vaccine do it? … There’s no evidence that this pandemic has changed fertility patterns.”

Myth: I was infected with Covid-19, so I am already immune and I don’t need the vaccine.

Fact: There is little evidence to prove that the infection will provide a natural immunity against receiving the virus again. The Mayo Clinic advises people to receive the vaccine, making sure to schedule it at least 90 days after a diagnosis.

Vice President Kamala Harris received the vaccine.
Photo via Flickr under the Creative Commons license. (Chia-Chi Charlie Chang)

Myth: The side effects of the vaccine are too severe.

Fact: The mild side effects from the vaccine only last for a couple of days that may consist of a headache, chills, fatigue, muscle pain, or a fever. These show that your immune system is strong for reacting to the vaccine. 

Myth: The vaccine is a scheme by the federal government to control US citizens through micro-chipping.

Fact: The Mayo Clinic discloses that there is no vaccine microchip. 

This misunderstanding occurred when Bill Gates referenced a digital certificate of vaccine records. He did not make any ties in his reference to the Covid-19 vaccine or a microchip.

Myth: The vaccine is too closely linked to blood clots.

Fact: PBS discloses that “the cases of blood clotting after vaccination are extremely rare” because these eight cases occurred out of about 7 million people who received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in the US. The Food and Drug Administration said that their decision to pause the distribution of this vaccine was “out of an abundance of caution.”

Since then, the CDC and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend that the J&J vaccine can resume in the US. The CDC says that this vaccine’s “potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks.” 

 

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Covid-19 Vaccine Myths Debunked