COVID Vaccine Facts and Myths
Myths about the coronavirus seem to have spread as widely as the virus itself, so it is important we all get the facts, especially when it comes to the vaccines.
And the most important COVID-19 vaccine fact: The best way to protect yourself and others from the virus is to get the vaccine when it is available to you.
Here we bust some myths about vaccines in general, below we debunk myths about the COVID vaccine.
Learn More: COVID Vaccine Versus New Virus Variants
Myth: COVID-19 vaccines can give you COVID-19.
Fact: You cannot get COVID-19 from a vaccine.
Vaccines work by helping your body develop immunity to a germ but not actually making you sick. Your body detects what seems to be the germ and makes antibodies protect you in the future. Having side effects is actually a sign that the vaccine is triggering your immune system.
The vaccines tell our cells to develop a protein that, in turn, triggers our bodies to produce antibodies. All of the COVID-19 vaccines are inactivated vaccines, meaning they do not contain the virus that causes COVID-19 and will not make you sick.
The messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines, created the type of vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, tell our cells to make "spike proteins," which are similar to the proteins in the novel coronavirus. They make the body believe it's infected with the virus, even though your body does not have the germ. Once the antibodies are produced, they help prevent us from getting infected if we come in contact with the real virus.
While the mRNA vaccines are new to market, the research behind them has been studied and worked on for decades.
Learn More: How mRNA Vaccines Work
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccines were rushed and are not safe.
Fact: Safety standards were not weakened to speed up the vaccines.
The vaccines for the novel coronavirus went through the same layers of review and testing as other vaccines. The COVID vaccine process did not skip any testing steps or safety reviews — instead, many of those steps are occurring at the same time and with more speed and additional funding than during pre-pandemic times.
Learn More: How the Vaccines Were Tested and Developed
Myth: Once I get the vaccine, I will no longer need to wear a mask.
Fact: While this continues to be evaluated, the CDC has issued a guidance about how fully vaccinated individuals can safely interact with others without a mask. However, that recommendation does not apply to the healthcare settings where there are a large numbers of vulnerable individuals who have not been vaccinated.
At this time, we must continue to follow social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines to continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Learn More: Mask Myths and Facts
Myth: People who are pregnant or breastfeeding or have allergies cannot get the COVID-19 vaccines.
Fact: While women who are pregnant or breastfeeding or have allergies may need to take extra precautions, they are able to get the vaccine at this time.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women did not initially participate in vaccine clinical trials. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted during emergency use authorization that these women may choose to be vaccinated. If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or are breastfeeding, talk to your doctor to ensure they recommend vaccination.
Similarly, those with a history of severe allergies (like anaphylaxis) or allergies that require an EpiPen should also talk to their doctor before being vaccinated.
Learn More: Pregnancy and COVID
Myth: If you previously had COVID-19, you don't need to be vaccinated.
Fact: The Centers for Disease Control says that people who have had the coronavirus should still be able to get the vaccine because we don't know how long any protection from or immunity to the virus will last.
Those with a COVID-19 infection within 90 days may choose to delay vaccination so those who remain unprotected receive the vaccine first, but they should still be vaccinated.
Learn More: Coronavirus Immunity
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