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COVID-19 Myths and Facts

Myth: The vaccine will give me COVID-19.

From Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Fact: COVID-19 vaccines do not give you COVID-19. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development or in use in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. The new mRNA vaccines trigger an immune response in our bodies to fight infection without using the virus.

Myth: The vaccine will make me sick.

From Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Fact: There can be side effects from COVID-19 vaccines. Common side effects can be similar to mild flu symptoms, but typically go away in a few days. Side effects are similar to those experienced with other commonly received vaccines, including fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, and pain at the injection site.

Myth: The vaccine was rushed and therefore it is not safe.

From Cleveland Clinic

Fact: It is true that COVID-19 vaccines were developed in record time, using new mRNA technology. Researchers have been working on this vaccine strategy for more than three decades. The technology has been developed over the last few years and tested in several animal models of infection. Vaccines were put through rigorous clinical trials involving tens of thousands of volunteers. In the United States, data was closely scrutinized by the FDA, as well as an independent panel of vaccine experts, and deemed safe and effective for emergency use. Similar independent panels in several other countries are in agreement.

Myth: The mRNA vaccines alter your DNA.

From Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Cleveland Clinic

Fact: Messenger RNA, or mRNA, is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease. mRNA does not affect or interact with our DNA in any way. The vaccine instructs our cells to make a piece of a protein found in the coronavirus, which cause an immune response in the body. Our cells break down the mRNA and get rid of it once that is done.

Myth: COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility. 

From Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Fact: There is no evidence to suggest that the COVID-19 vaccine can cause infertility. The CDC recommends individuals who are pregnant or think they may be pregnant, consult with a medical provider before getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Myth: You don’t need to get the vaccine if you’ve had COVID-19. 

From Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Cleveland Clinic

Fact: At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from the virus after recovering from COVID-19. Natural immunity, or the immunity someone gains from having an infection, varies from person-to-person. Further study is needed.

Experts, including the CDC, say it would still be appropriate for a person to get the vaccine to ensure they are protected.

Myth: We don’t know what’s in these vaccines.  

From Cleveland Clinic

Fact: The ingredients for COVID-19 vaccines have been published by Pfizer and Moderna. Both vaccines contain mRNA, lipids (fats) that deliver the mRNA into cells, and a few other common ingredients to maintain the stability of the vaccine. This information is available online. Despite theories on social media, COVID-19 vaccines do not contain microchips or any other type of tracking devices.

Myth: I need to get on a waiting list for the COVID-19 vaccine.  

From Sedgwick County Health Department

Fact: There are no waiting lists for COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccines will be distributed in phases, with priority given to those with the greatest need to be vaccinated first. The County is following guidance from federal and state governments as it develops and implements the COVID-19 vaccination schedule. As more vaccine becomes available, people will be vaccinated following CDC and KDHE guidelines. The vaccination schedule is designed to assure that all who want to be vaccinated will have that opportunity once available. 

Myth: Since COVID-19’s survival rate is so high, I don’t need a vaccine. 

From Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Fact: It is true that most people who get COVID-19 are able to recover. But some people develop severe complications, including long-term health problems and damage to vital organs. More than 1.7 million people have died around the world. There simply is no way to know how your body will react to the virus. Both COVID-19 vaccines were more than 94 percent effective at preventing severe illness, with minimal side effects. Getting the vaccine may also help protect those around you. Widespread vaccination will be important for ending the pandemic and protecting vulnerable populations.

Myth: Once I get the vaccine, I no longer need to wear a mask or socially distance.  

From Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Cleveland Clinic

Fact: The CDC recommends individuals continue to wear a mask and socially distance even after getting the vaccine for several reasons. First, immunity is not immediate. Current vaccines require multiple injections, taken weeks apart, and the body needs time to build antibodies for immunity. Secondly, these vaccines were tested and developed to prevent severe illness and death from COVID-19. We may be able to transmit COVID-19 even when we are protected. 

Myth: The pandemic will be over soon since we have vaccines now.  

From Cleveland Clinic

Fact: COVID-19 vaccines will help to curb the spread of the virus, but ending the pandemic will take time. Companies can only produce so many vaccines at one time, and vaccines are not expected to be widely available to the general public until late spring/early summer of 2021. About 70 percent of the population will need to have been vaccinated or infected before the disease is no longer likely to spread.