After a long battle with the COVID-19 virus, there has finally been headway with the recently developed and approved COVID-19 vaccine. The approval of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines has given the world hope against the deadly coronavirus.
While many people are happy about the vaccine and would receive it without hesitating, a significant number of people are still hesitant about receiving the vaccine. This reluctance may be due to the different misconceptions circulating about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Below are some common myths about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Myth: Receiving The Vaccine Will Give You COVID-19
One of the most common myths surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine is that you will get infected with the virus if you receive the vaccine.
This is not true.
The only way you can get infected is by coming in contact with the live COVID-19 virus. The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain the live COVID-19 virus and won’t get you infected. The vaccines work by causing our bodies to initiate an immune response against the virus through different methods and vectors. As a result, you may experience a few symptoms after receiving your vaccine doses, but that doesn’t mean you are infected. The brief symptoms like mild fever and body aches only show that your body is building a strong immunity to the virus.
These symptoms will go away soon enough, and your body will be strong enough to fight the COVID-19 infection.
Myth: The Vaccines Cannot Be Trusted Because It Was Released Too Soon
Many people have also expressed hesitancy to receive COVID-19 vaccines because they believe it was developed too quickly and are unreliable. Again, this isn’t true.
The vaccines were indeed released earlier than expected, compared to other vaccines. However, this doesn’t suggest that they have a lower efficacy or are dangerous.
In the development of both vaccines, no important step was skipped. The safety trials were not rushed. A factor that could account for the vaccine’s seemingly early release is that all hands were on deck and more resources were allocated. Bureaucratic processes that slowed down the release of vaccines were reduced, and all scientists and drug manufacturers involved in developing the vaccine worked around the clock till its success.
Myth: COVID-19 Vaccine Will Change Your DNA
The approved COVID-19 vaccines will not change your DNA. These vaccines use messenger RNA (mRNA) as a vehicle. The mRNA cannot get access to your DNA or change it.
It simply works by presenting a small harmless replica of the spike protein found on a SARS-CoV-2 virus’s surface. Your body initiates an immune response, which involves creating potent antibodies against the virus to fight a COVID-19 infection.
After this, the mRNA is degraded out of your cells. The vaccine mRNA cannot enter your cell’s nucleus, where your DNA is stored, and therefore cannot make changes to your DNA.
Myth: You Shouldn’t Get Vaccinated If You Have Already Had COVID-19
Many people believe that you have total immunity once you have recovered from a COVID-19 infection and can’t get re-infected, so they don’t need to get the vaccine.
While your body produces some level of immunity during your former infection with the virus, there are no conclusive studies to show how long your natural immunity will last in protecting you against reinfection.
With a vaccine, you get a stronger immune response against the virus, which lasts for a longer period of time.
So, even if you’ve had the virus at some point, it is still safe to get the vaccine and boost your immunity.
Myth: The COVID-19 Vaccine Will Make You Infertile.
There have been rumors about COVID-19 causing infertility, especially in women. Some of these rumors started when a false report circulated on social media. It stated that the spike protein on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that the vaccine trains your body to fight is the same as another protein syncytin-1, found in the body, involved in the growth and attachment of the placenta in pregnancy.
This is not true. Both spike proteins are different, and getting the vaccine will not affect your ability to get pregnant by destroying that spike protein.
Many of the women involved in the test trials of the vaccine have gone on to become pregnant.
Myth: Only Older People And People With Underlying Conditions Need To Get The Vaccine
In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, older people and people with underlying medical conditions were deemed at higher risk of getting infected with the virus. With recent mutations and new strains of the virus being isolated, we have seen young and otherwise healthy people getting infected and dying from the virus. The new strains are also highly transmissible and deadly.
It is advisable to get the vaccine even if you’re young and healthy.
Myth: As Long As I’ve Received my Vaccines, I Can’t Infect Someone Else.
So far, the COVID-19 Vaccine has shown to prevent you from falling severely ill or requiring hospitalization if you get exposed to the virus. It is not certain that the vaccine prevents you from transmitting the virus to others.
Also, immunity from the virus is not immediate and can take some time before your body builds the required antibodies to fight the virus. Pending that time, you can still infect someone else and become infected. You cannot be sure who has received the vaccine or not, so it is safer always to uphold the safety measures. Until we achieve herd immunity, you should still wear your face masks, avoid crowded areas, and maintain social distancing.
We are currently still in the middle of a pandemic. Hopefully, after some time we will regain a sense of normalcy. Until that time, adhere to the COVID-19 safety measures and get vaccinated.
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