Almost after a year of the COVID outbreak, vaccines are here to protect us from the virus. Scientists and researchers have worked quickly to find an effective and safe vaccine that can be given to people in record time.
However, as supplies are limited initially, not everyone will receive the vaccine right now. Frontline healthcare workers who are caring for the patients are among the first to be vaccinated.
Nevertheless, a large percentage of the public will be vaccinated when the vaccines are available in huge quantities. Sadly though, there is a lot of misinformation surrounding vaccines and their development. Consequently, when deciding whether to get the vaccine, it is essential to separate COVID vaccine myths and facts.
Myth 1: The COVID-19 Vaccine Is Unsafe Because of Quick Development
Fact: The authorized vaccines are proven to be effective and safe. Indeed they were developed in a short span of time, but they have gone through some rigorous testing by Central Drugs and Standards Committee (CDSCO) and meet all the safety standards.
Myth 2: The Vaccine Will Alter My DNA
Fact: The vaccines contain messenger RNA [mRNA], which instructs cells to make the “Spike Proteins.” When the immune system identifies this protein, it builds an immune response by creating antibodies that teach the body how it can protect itself from future infection.
Further, the nucleus is where the DNA is kept, and the mRNA never enters it. Moreover, the body gets rid of the mRNA soon after it finishes using the instructions.
Myth 3: The Vaccine Has Severe Side Effects Like Allergic Reactions
Fact: Some participants in the clinical trials of vaccines reported side effects similar to those experienced with other vaccines. This includes muscle pain, chills, and headache.
Although extremely rare, people can still have severe allergic reactions to ingredients used in a vaccine. As a result, experts recommend people with a history of severe allergic reactions to not get the vaccination.
Myth 4: The COVID-19 Vaccine Causes Infertility In Women
Fact: A piece of viral information on social media suggests that the vaccine trains the body to attack syncytin-1. It is a protein in the placenta which could lead to infertility in women.
But the truth is, there’s an amino acid sequence shared between the earlier mentioned “Spike Protein” and a placenta protein. Nevertheless, experts say it doesn’t trigger an immune response and thus doesn’t affect fertility.
Myth 5: I’ve Been Diagnosed with COVID-19, So I Don’t Need The Vaccine
Fact: If you already had COVID-19, there’s a piece of evidence that you can still benefit from the vaccine. However, at this time, experts don’t really know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19.
If someone gains immunity from having an infection, it is called natural immunity and it varies from person to person. Besides, some early evidence suggests innate immunity may not last long. Hence, if you are eligible for the COVID vaccine, you should consider getting one immediately.
Myth 6: Once I Receive The Vaccine, I’ll Test Positive For COVID-19
Fact: COVID-19 samples from the respiratory systems are used for viral testings to diagnose the presence of the virus. Since there was no live virus in the vaccine, it won’t affect your test result. However, it is possible to get infected with the virus before the vaccine gets time to protect your body entirely.
Myth 7: I’m Not at Risk for Severe Complications of COVID-19; Therefore, I Don’t Need the Vaccine
Fact: Even if you aren’t a high-risk individual, you can still contract the infection and spread it to others, making it equally important for you to get vaccinated.
Once the vaccine is available in huge quantities, it is recommended that as many adults as possible should get the vaccine. Besides protecting you, it protects your family and community as well.
Myth 8: Specific Blood Types Have Less Severe Infections
Fact: Researches have shown that there is no single evidence to believe a specific blood type will lead to increased severity of COVID-19. Similarly, the reverse is also true. By choosing to get vaccinated, you are protecting yourself, your family, and your community.
Vaccines are probably the best hope for ending the COVID-19 pandemic. As of now, India has access to Covishield and Covaxin for its citizens. The government is currently in the process of phasing out the vaccines to the general public by giving access to senior citizens and those above 45 with comorbidities. The vaccine rollout is expected to reach the general public soon.
While the vaccine is being rolled out, you might have also heard a lot of speculation about its safety and efficacy. The above-listed COVID vaccine myths and the facts should be enough for you to make the decision for yourself based on facts and not hearsay.