There have been rampant conspiracy theories, doubts, and fear about taking the COVID-19 vaccine. There are doubts, unknown information, and speculation as to whether or not it is even worth taking. But before you let fear get the best of you, here are the reasons why you need to take the vaccine–if you can–and some myths debunked.
- The vaccine will not cause you to be unable to have children.
One of the most frequent rumors about the vaccine is that it can cause either infertility or birth defects. The rumor started when a doctor in Germany was hesitant on approval of the vaccine because of its spike protein having similar components to the protein syncytin-1, which is critical to the mammal placenta. This news was quickly picked up by anti-vaccination websites and social media that ran with the story, much like how rumors that vaccines cause autism were perpetuated.
- You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
While some vaccines include what is referred to as a live virus—weakened or inactivated forms of a virus—the COVID-19 vaccines are not; they are a newer form of vaccine called mRNA vaccine (this form is also used in flu, Zika, and rabies). This means that the vaccine will help your immune cells to develop antibodies with receptors similar to the virus. This does not mean all of your cells become mutated; just immune cells can now recognize and destroy the virus.
You may feel sick for up to a week after receiving the first or second dose, but this is your body learning to fight the virus off.
- If you’ve had COVID-19 you still need the vaccine.
It is recommended that you get the vaccine 3 months after symptoms resolve. We do not yet know how long immunity lasts or if reinfection is possible. Most people no longer test positive for antibodies after some months, so having the virus does not make you immune This is common for many other viruses such as the flu where you must get another shot every year.
- The vaccine development was not rushed and is safe & effective.
While development of the vaccine was quicker than was expected, Biospace states that “Although sample sizes were small—as they typically are in early phase clinical trials—the results demonstrated promising safety measures and antibody production against the spike protein from those who got the vaccine” (2020). Vaccine development was also sped up due to other research being halted for the pandemic and resources becoming devoted to treatment and research of COVID-19.
- You still need to wear a mask and social distance.
Both vaccines are approximately 95% effective after two weeks of receiving the second dose. This does not mean that you cannot carry and transmit the virus after being fully vaccinated. The research into how much transmission is possible after vaccination is not yet known or for how long vaccination is effective, and you can therefore infect others without even realizing.
- We know what is in every vaccine.
There is no relationship with 5G technology, tracking devices, or fetal stem cell research to develop the vaccines across every company. Both vaccines contain: mRNA, fats, salts, acetic acid, stabilizers, and the Moderna vaccine contains sugar (fda.gov). These are conspiracy theories that began online (some as jokes) and continue to pervade the public’s view.
For more information
- Visit sources:
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- Johns Hopkins Medicine
- World Health Organization
- Food and Drug Administration
- And don’t believe everything you hear!