Almost a year after Covid19 was first seen in humans, vaccines to protect us from the virus are here. Scientists and researchers worked quickly and thoroughly to find effective, safe Covid19 vaccine that could be given to the public in record time.
Supplies are initially limited, not everyone can receive the Covid19 vaccine right now. Frontline healthcare workers who are caring for Covid19 patients were among the first to be vaccinated. But once vaccines are available in widespread quantities which could be by Spring 2021 a large percentage of the public can be vaccinated.
As happens with everything new, rumours have been circulating about these vaccines. Let’s talk about the myths related to Covid19 vaccine one by one.
1. The vaccines aren’t safe because they were developed quickly.
Safety was not compromised in any way. What happened quickly was finding the vaccine to test. In the 1980s, it took scientists so long to do this, but thanks to scientific advances we’ve made over the years, we can find viruses so quickly. Covid19 is similar to other coronaviruses we’ve seen in humans, like MERS and SARS, so there was previous research that could be used to speed up the process.
2. The vaccines can lead to long-term effects.
With vaccines, if there is going to be a complication or side effect, it will occur within minutes to hours of receiving the vaccine. If we’re not seeing serious side effects now, we can pretty much know it will be safe down the road.
3. You can get COVID-19 from the vaccines.
The vaccines make our bodies produce one single protein from the virus the protein that infects our cells. By making that protein, we prevent infection. You might have side effects like a headache or chills, but that’s because your body is creating an immune response, not because you have an infection.
4. I’ve already had COVID-19, so I don’t need to get vaccinated.
There is preliminary evidence that the vaccine offers better protection than having had the virus plus, it’s sometimes hard to know whether you actually had COVID-19, People who had COVID-19, in the early days, before we had laboratory testing available, were being diagnosed based upon symptoms and not a test. Also, some of the tests aren’t always 100% accurate.
5. People with underlying conditions shouldn’t get vaccinated.
People who have underlying conditions like diabetes and heart disease, for example are at a high risk for getting complications from COVID-19,, so it’s even more reason why they should get vaccinated. Talk with your doctor who is helping you manage the condition if you have concerns.
6. People with suppressed immune systems shouldn’t get vaccinated.
People with suppressed immune systems (like from cancer treatments or autoimmune diseases) should definitely get vaccinated. The vaccine will not hurt you since it doesn’t contain a live virus. Those with suppressed immune systems will still get protection from COVID-19, just not as much protection as those with healthy immune systems. Again, talk with your doctor if you have specific concerns.
7. The COVID-19 vaccines will alter your DNA.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use messenger RNA (mRNA) to protect us from COVID-19. mRNA basically gives our cells the blueprints for the factories that will build the protein to protect us from COVID-19. People get scared that mRNA will cause the virus to go into our DNA and mutate us, but it does not even go into the center part of the cell where we have our DNA.
8. If I’m pregnant or breastfeeding, I definitely shouldn’t get vaccinated.
It is fine for pregnant women to get the vaccine. If you’re pregnant and in a group that should be urgently vaccinated, like a healthcare worker, you should get vaccinated. If you’re concerned about the risks versus the benefits, talk to your doctor. But pregnant women who contract viruses can have complications or pass diseases to their babies, and the same goes for breastfeeding. Since the vaccine is not a live virus, you can’t pass anything to the baby.
9. Once I get vaccinated, I don’t have to wear masks or practice social distancing.
You absolutely still have to wear mask and social distance. If you’re walking around in public, how do you know who is vaccinated? And no vaccine is 100% effective. These vaccines are 95% effective, which is an incredibly high percentage, but that means there will still be 5% of people who won’t be protected. Get a vaccine, wear your mask and then a few months later, when we know that everyone has been vaccinated, we can go back to life the way it was.
Instead of believing and creating these type of myths, we should be proud of our doctors and scientists who worked hard to come up with the vaccine to make our lives normal.
Properly take the Covid19 Vaccine so that we all will be free from this virus. Be safe and take care.