COVID Vaccine Facts Myths

Myths about the coronavirus (COVID-19) seem to spread as fast—or faster—as the virus itself. Especially when it comes to the different vaccines and variants, it is important to get the facts.

The best way to protect yourself and others from the virus is to get the COVID vaccine and, once you are fully vaccinated, a booster shot.

Here we bust some myths about vaccines in general. Below, we debunk myths specifically pertaining to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Still deciding about the vaccine or know someone who is? See these 7 reasons to get the vaccine.

Myth: COVID-19 vaccines can give you COVID-19.

Fact: You cannot get COVID-19 from a vaccine.

All COVID-19 vaccines are inactivated vaccines, meaning they do not contain the virus that causes COVID-19 and will not make you sick.

In general, 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.

The messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines, created the type of vaccines by Pfizer (Comirnaty) 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 is infected with the virus even though it 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-19 vaccine development 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: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people follow all current federal, state and local masking guidelines regardless of vaccination status, as such guidelines are put in place to keep you and others safe.

Learn More: All About Masks

Myth: People who are pregnant or breastfeeding cannot get the COVID-19 vaccines.

Fact: Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should get vaccinated and, once fully vaccinated, receive a booster.

The CDC recommends that women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant in the future be vaccinated against COVID-19. Booster shots also are recommended for these groups. COVID-19 vaccines do not cause infection in anyone (including expectant moms and their babies), and they are effective at preventing the virus in women who are breastfeeding.

The CDC says that although the overall risks are low, women who are pregnant or were recently pregnant have a higher risk of a serious COVID-19 infection. In addition, women who have COVID-19 during pregnancy are at increased risk for preterm birth, stillbirth and other potential pregnancy complications. This is why getting the vaccine is recommended for pregnant women.

Learn More: Pregnancy and COVID

Myth: If you previously had COVID-19, you don't need to be vaccinated.

Fact: The CDC says that people who have had the coronavirus should still 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

Updated 12/22/2021

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