Vaccines are currently the best hope that we have for finally ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are excited to get vaccinated, so they can do their part in managing the spread of coronavirus. But there are others who are hesitant or refuse to get vaccinated. One of the reasons behind vaccine hesitancy is the misinformation surrounding vaccines and their development.
Information is power, especially when it comes to convincing people who are hesitant to get vaccinated. Accurate vaccine information can help stop rumors and myths.
If you have a loved one who is hesitant to get vaccinated against COVID-19 (or you yourself need more information before you get the shot), we debunk the myths surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine.
MYTH: COVID-19 Vaccines Create Variants
FACT: They Don’t.
The new variants of COVID-19 happen because the coronavirus that causes COVID constantly changes through a continuous process of mutation. Even before the vaccines were made, COVID-19 already had several variants. Variants will continue to emerge as the COVID virus continues to change.
Vaccines could help prevent new variants from emerging. If the virus spreads, it has more chances to change. If you vaccinate the population, the number of COVID cases may drop drastically since the vaccine reduces the spread of the virus.
MYTH: The Vaccine Isn’t Safe Because it was Quickly Developed.
FACT: Vaccines Approved by U.S. Food And Drug Administration and Recommended by the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention are Safe.
Many pharmaceutical companies poured their resources into immediately developing a COVID-19 vaccine due to the global impact of the pandemic. The emergency prompted an expedited response, but that doesn’t mean that health experts didn’t perform adequate testing or that they bypassed safety protocols.
Currently, there are several vaccines in clinical trials.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to monitor and review these trials before authorizing or approving vaccines for use. But due to the immediate need for vaccines, the FDA had to figure out a way for the vaccine to pass through a process that usually takes up to years.
As a result, the FDA gave emergency use authorization to COVID-19 vaccines based on less data than they usually require. For a COVID-19 vaccine to gain emergency use approval, the vaccines must be proven effective and safe.
The following are vaccines with FDA emergency use approval or authorization:
Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
The Moderna vaccine is 94 percent effective against the novel coronavirus with symptoms. People ages 18 and older can receive this vaccine. The Moderna vaccine requires two doses, with the second dose being administered after 28 days. Patients can receive the second dose six weeks after their first dose.
Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine has the FDA’s emergency approval since the vaccine is 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 infections for people aged 16 and above. The vaccine is also under an emergency authorization use for kids between the ages of 12 and 15 years old. Similar to Moderna, this vaccine requires two injections, with the second dose being administered in the sixth week after the first dose.
Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine
During the clinical trials, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine had a 66 percent efficacy against the COVID-19 virus with symptoms. Twenty-eight days post-vaccination, the vaccine’s efficacy rate rises to 85 percent.
MTYH: I Already Had COVID And Have Recovered; Therefore, I Don’t Need the Vaccine.
FACT: You Have the Antibodies, But You Still Need Protection.
If you get COVID-19 and recover from it, you may have some natural immunity or protection from reinfection. Still, it’s unclear how long the protection will last. Since reinfection is possible and COVID-19 can still cause severe complications, it’s best for unvaccinated people who had COVID-19 to get the vaccine.
MYTH: COVID Vaccines Don’t Work Since You Can Still Get Infected.
FACT: You Can, But the Chances are Less Compared to Unvaccinated People.
COVID-19 vaccines can protect most people from being infected with COVID-19, with efficacy rates ranging from 60 percent to 100 percent.
A small percentage of vaccinated individuals can still contract COVID-19 if they are exposed to the virus. They are called breakthrough cases. Some of these patients, however, may not experience the symptoms associated with COVID-19.
The point of a vaccine is that it reduces the severity of COVID-19. If you are fully vaccinated, you have lower risks of hospitalization or death due to COVID-19.
MYTH: Once I Receive The Vaccine, I’ll Test Positive For Covid.
Fact: It Will Not.
Viral tests used to check for the COVID vaccine check for the presence of the virus that causes COVID. Since vaccines don’t contain live viruses, it won’t affect your test result. If you test positive for the virus after getting the vaccine, it’s more likely you’ve had the virus before the vaccination.
Knowledge is power. Don’t believe in myths. Instead, do your research and get vaccinated!