While many people are excited to have vaccines against the coronavirus, some are still hesitant to be inoculated because of the misinformation and fake news surrounding them.
This is especially true for senior citizens who are one of the top priorities when it comes to vaccination. And while we are not sure if such apprehension plays a major role, the Department of Health recently reported that the Philippines missed its target of vaccinating one-fifth of senior citizens and people with comorbidities since the inoculation drive in March. (Read: A Prayer to End the Pandemic Sooner)
Today, we debunk the myths surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines.
COVID-19 Vaccine Myth: The vaccine is not safe because it was rapidly developed and tested.
Fact: The authorized vaccines are proven safe and effective. Many pharmaceutical companies have invested significant resources into quickly developing a vaccine for COVID-19 because of the impact of the pandemic. It was an emergency situation, with hundreds, if not thousands, of people catching the virus and dying everyday, which required urgent response.
However, it does not mean that the companies bypassed safety protocols or did not perform adequate testing. No steps were skipped in the vaccine development, and it was a collaborative effort of our doctors and scientists. Even Pope Francis himself backed the vaccines up and encouraged everyone to get vaccinated once available. (Read: Duterte Allows FDA to Shorten Approval Time for COVID-19 Vaccine)
COVID-19 Vaccine Myth: Getting vaccinated will alter my DNA.
Fact: Yikes! Some people have watched too many sci-fi films and shows, huh? Contrary to this assumption, the COVID-19 vaccine will not alter anything and no, it will not turn you into a flesh-eating zombie. The first vaccines granted emergency authorization contain messenger RNA (mRNA), which instructs cells to make the “spike protein” found on the new coronavirus.
When your immune system recognizes this protein, it builds an immune response by creating antibodies to protect against future infection. The mRNA never enters the cell where our DNA is kept. In fact, the body gets rid of the mRNA soon after it’s finished giving instructions to the cells. (Read: What’s the Difference Between CoronaVac, AstraZeneca, Moderna, etc?)
COVID-19 Vaccine Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine has a tracker device.
Fact: Again, you should really slow down in consuming science fiction. There is no tracking device nor a microchip in the vaccine, and it will also not gather your personal information. Perhaps this myth started with syringe maker Apiject Systems’s microchip syringe. This company has a contract with the US government to provide medical-grade injection devices for vaccines, but the microchip is within the syringe label and helps providers confirm a vaccine dose’s origin. The chip itself is not injected into the person getting the vaccine.
COVID-19 Vaccine Myth: There are severe side effects and I’m most likely to die from it than from COVID-19.
Fact: There are short-term mild or moderate vaccine reactions that resolve without any complication. Systemic reactions from the vaccine include headache, chills, fatigue or muscle pain, or fever that lasts for a day or two. However, these side effects are indicators that your immune system is responding to the vaccine, and are common when being inoculated with any kind of vaccine. Even babies develop fever after a vaccine shot but they don’t die, right? (Read: LOOK: Doctors Warn About Side Effects of COVID-19 Vaccine)
COVID-19 Vaccine Myth: Once I receive the vaccine, I will test positive for COVID-19. It’s a scam developed by hospitals to get more money!
Fact: Hospital workers and medical practitioners are not risking their lives every day so they can milk you for money. Also, there is no live virus in the vaccines, so you will not test positive for COVID-19 nor will it affect your test results if you get vaccinated. However, if you don’t get vaccinated, you will certainly have a higher chance of getting hospitalized for COVID-19. (Read: Ivermectin: FDA Issues ‘Compassionate Use Permit’ to Two Hospitals)