Ever since late 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the front seat, pushing all of our plans back by years, if not months. For the entirety of 2020, people around the world spent their days locked indoors, away from social interactions, family, and friends- all for the sake of everyone’s safety. Many people suffered adverse effects, while others, unfortunately, succumbed in alarming numbers.
The origins of the virus are still under debate, so is the legitimacy of the life-saving COVID-19 vaccine. Despite specialists and studies disproving common misconceptions, fear-mongering is at an all-time high. There is a lot of misinformation regarding these vaccines and their effects. As educated citizens of the world, it is necessary for us to separate myth from fact, which is why our blog will debunk the most common misconceptions for you today.
Listed below you will find a comprehensive list of the most common myths clarified with facts.
Myth: The vaccine is unsafe due to being developed quickly
Fact: The COVID-19 vaccine is proven to be safe and effective. Yes, they were developed in record time, but there were no compromises in the rigorous Food and Drug Administration testing process. They also meet all the safety standards; no steps in the research were skipped. We can thank the collective global investment and dedication of researchers and scientists who shortened the time frame on the vaccine’s development. Apart from research, the clinical trials, too, went through the same protocol as per the mandate.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine can alter human DNA
Fact: The first COVID-19 vaccines to be used have messenger RNA (mRNA) in them. It signals cells to produce the “spike protein” present on the novel coronavirus. Once our immune system detects this protein, it forms an immune trigger by producing antibodies and teaches the body to protect itself against future attacks. The mRNA does not enter the nucleus of human cells, and the body gets rid of them once their job is over (providing immunity). Hence, genetic mutations are not possible.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccines have a tracking chip in them
Fact: A clip shared on Facebook gives false information about the contents of syringe manufacturer Apiject Systems of America. The company, which has a contract with the US COVID-19 manufacturers, has a variant of syringes that can insert a microchip along with a label. However, these products are labeled and are not used for COVID-19 vaccines.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine can cause severe side effects and reactions
Fact: A number of participants at the clinical trials did experience side-effects similar to those with various vaccines. These include fever, chills, muscle soreness, weakness, and a headache. It is possible to have adverse reactions to the ingredients of the vaccine, but it is greatly uncommon. The healthcare practitioners who administer COVID-19 vaccines also provide patients with oral medicine to counter the fever and muscle tenderness if the patient experiences them.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine can trigger miscarriages and infertility in women
Fact: False news on social media claims the vaccine modifies the body to obliterate syncytin-1, a protein found in the placenta, which could cause miscarriages or infertility. The reality is that there is an amino acid sequence shared between the placental protein and spike protein. However, researchers state that this spike is too short to cause infertility or trigger abortions. These could be the hormonal effects of a pandemic.
Myth: Getting a COVID-19 vaccine means masks are no longer important
Fact: Using masks, washing and sanitizing your hands as well as maintaining social distance is still very relevant as the pandemic has not ended yet. Even though you may have achieved immunity, you can still be a carrier of the virus, endangering those who are not immune. Also, as the virus is evolving at a fast pace, there is yet no guarantee that you will not get infected.
Myth: People can contract COVID-19 from the preventive vaccine.
Fact: It is not possible to get a COVID-19 infection from a vaccine since it has no live virus.
Myth: People who take the vaccine test positive for COVID-19 immediately after
Fact: The tests used to diagnose COVID-19 use samples from your respiratory system to check for the virus. Since the vaccines use no live virus, it will not affect a test result. If your test shows positive immediately after vaccinations, chances are that you may have contracted it before taking the shot.
Myth: People that are not at the risk of extreme complications of COVID-19 don’t need to take the vaccine
Fact: Irrespective of the risk, one can still catch the infection and diffuse it to others, which is why you must get vaccinated. Once the vaccine is available at your location, it’s advised that all the eligible adults book an appointment at the earliest.
Myth: By taking a COVID-19 vaccine, people stand a greater risk to fall sick from other illnesses
Fact: There are no factual grounds based on which this assumption is true. Taking the vaccine can cause a mild fever 24-48 hours after the jab, but will not make you susceptible to other illnesses.
Myth: Some blood types get less severe effects of COVID-19, so being vaccinated isn’t required
Truth: Research has proven there is no connection to a certain blood type having severe effects on the COVID-19 infection. By getting vaccinated, you choose to protect not just yourself and your loved ones the community too.
Fortunately, many of us made it across the shaky bridge, but all of us have known a relative, friend, acquaintance, or coworker who was affected by the novel coronavirus. While we have had an opportunity to reflect on the importance of socialism in the human world, the rumors that surround our only chance for survival against this rapidly evolving virus cause more harm than we think. We hope that our myth debunking blog has shed some light on the truth and eased nerves. We urge everyone to get vaccinated because it is the strongest chance we have at achieving herd immunity.