While most people consider the COVID-19 vaccine production a cause for celebration, there are some people who still have doubts and lingering worries about the vaccine’s safety, efficacy, and necessity. You’ve likely heard a lot of everything about the COVID-19 vaccines, but which of them should you believe? In this article, we’ll set the record straight on some of the circulating myths about the COVID-19 vaccines for you.
Myth #1: The implant has a microchip (“tracker”) in it.
This myth started circulating after American software developer, Bill Gates, made a comment about something that he thinks could happen in the future – digital certificates. They are sort of like digital tattoos that are given to people after they get vaccinated or tested for COVID-19. But Gate’s idea has nothing to do with the vaccines themselves, which obviously do not contain any digital technology. So there are no microchips in any of the vaccines and the vaccines do not track people or gather their personal information.
Myth #2: Vaccines contain the coronavirus so you can get COVID-19
Nothing can be further from the truth. None of the vaccines contain the coronavirus, so it is impossible to get COVID-19 from them. What they do contain are water (mainly), mRNA, stabilizers (eg sugar and gelatin) to keep the vaccine effective after manufactured, and adjuvant (eg aluminum salts) to help boost your body’s response to the vaccine. The mRNA acts as a messenger to instruct your body cells to produce proteins that are part of the coronavirus and your immune system in response, recognizes it, and produces antibodies to fight it.
Myth #3: COVID-19 vaccines can alter or re-write your DNA
Vaccines like Pfizer contain messenger RNA (mRNA). Biologically, our DNA is used to make mRNA while the mRNA is used to make proteins in our body. The process only goes in one direction, so mRNA cannot actually reverse the process and affect your DNA. In fact, the mRNA in vaccines does not even get to the nucleus (the part of your body’s cell where your DNA is stored). Instead, the mRNA in COVID-19 vaccines only instruct your body to produce a protein called the “spike protein” and this spike protein fools your body into thinking it’s seeing the coronavirus. Your immune system in return reacts by making antibodies to these spike proteins, so if you do encounter a real coronavirus in the future, your body will be ready to fight it off.
Myth #4: COVID-19 vaccines can cause miscarriage or infertility
This myth came from the misunderstanding about spike proteins. A false report that surfaced on social media mentioned that the spike protein on coronavirus and its vaccines are the same as another spike protein (syncytin-1) that is involved with the development of the placenta during pregnancy. But the truth is they are completely different spike proteins. The COVID-19 vaccines have no effect on the spike protein found on the placenta. In fact, actual studies of the vaccines found no evidence that they affect fertility or cause miscarriage.
Myth #5: The vaccine’s approval and manufacturing process was rushed and incomplete
(Exploratory > Preclinical > Clinical Trials > FDA Approval > Manufacturing)
The process was certainly fast but it was not rushed, and no steps were bypass. The COVID-19 vaccines went through the same vigorous and thorough testing process as every other vaccine has in the past. It is deemed safe and effective. The speed is thanks to unprecedented worldwide collaboration and investment to develop the vaccine quickly. But the clinical trials and review process was done carefully and showed both safety and effectiveness.
Myth #6: The vaccine will make me sick
Well, this has some truth in it. Because when the vaccine works, it fools your body into thinking it is seeing the coronavirus. When your immune system reacts, it can give you symptoms as you might have on the first day or two of a real infection. Symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, fatigue, etcetera. These symptoms are normal and they don’t last long unlike a real coronavirus infection. But then again, if you do not experience any symptoms or side effects after your vaccination, it does not mean your body’s immune system is not responding.
Myth #7: You don’t need the vaccine if you already had a COVID-19 infection in the past
Actually, experts still recommend people who had COVID-19 infection get vaccinated as there isn’t enough evidence to know how long you’re protected from getting another infection, once you’ve been infected. Getting COVID-19 infection might be able to offer you some natural protection from reinfection, but it is not clear how long this protection lasts. So, if you have had COVID-19, consult your healthcare provider on when you should get your COVID-19 vaccine,
Myth #8: Your baby will be infected with COVID-19 if you take the vaccine while breastfeeding
Again, the no COVID-19 vaccines can infect anyone with COVID-19. As a matter of fact, taking the vaccine while breastfeeding can help protect babies as they would have antibodies in their breast milk. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine highly recommend breastfeeding women to receive the vaccine and continue to breastfeed.
Accurate and factual information is critical so that you can make the right decision and get the right help. Before taking into account any information spreading on the Internet, check whether it comes from a credible and reliable source. If you still have any concerns, remember to talk to your healthcare provider to rectify any doubts.