Facts and Misconceptions About Vaccination
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. They were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials and met the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization. These vaccines have undergone and will continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Currently, three vaccines are approved or authorized and recommended in the United States to prevent COVID-19:
- It typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build immunity against the virus. You are not fully vaccinated until two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a one-dose vaccine.
- You may experience side effects after vaccination. These are normal and should go away in a few days. Common side effects include swelling, redness, and pain at injection site; fever; headache; tiredness; muscle pain; chills; and nausea.
- A very small number of people have had a severe allergic reaction called “anaphylaxis” after vaccination, but this is rare. Anaphylaxis can occur after any vaccination. If this occurs, vaccination providers have medicines available to effectively and immediately treat the reaction. After you get a COVID-19 vaccine, you will be asked to stay for 15–30 minutes so you can be observed in case you have a severe allergic reaction and need immediate treatment.
- After receiving the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine, there is risk for a very rare but serious side effect — blood clots with low platelets (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS). Women younger than 50 years old have an increased risk for this rare adverse event. This side effect is extremely rare, occurring at a rate of about 7 per 1 million vaccinated women between 18 and 49 years old. For women 50 years and older and men of all ages, it is even more rare. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have not been seen to cause this adverse side effect.
- CDC has received increased reports of myocarditis and pericarditis in adolescents and young adults after COVID-19 vaccination. The known and potential benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks, including the possible risk of myocarditis or pericarditis. CDC and its partners are investigating these reports to assess whether there is a relationship to COVID-19 vaccination. MORE INFO…
COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS & MYTHS
- The vaccines have not really been FDA approved; they were rushed through and given Emergency Use Authorization, but that does not mean they are safe.
In a public health emergency, which is the case with COVID-19, manufacturing and approval of vaccines can be streamlined through an Emergency Use Authorization or EUA. An EUA does not affect vaccine safety, because it does not impact the development process (such as research, clinical studies, and the study of side effects). Instead, it simply speeds up the manufacturing and administrative processes. MORE INFO…
- The vaccines will give me COVID-19.
None of the authorized vaccines actually contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19, nor will it make you test positive for the virus. The vaccines simply teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus. Sometimes this can cause symptoms, such as fever, but these symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building protection against the virus.
- The vaccines can cause infertility in women.
The genetic code of the placenta protein, called syncytin-1, is similar to the genetic code of the spike protein in COVID-19. If the vaccines caused our bodies to make antibodies to protect us from COVID-19, some though they might also make antibodies to reject the placenta. This has been completely disproven in the clinical trials and continues to be disproven in real time as more women of child-bearing age become fully vaccinated. Women who participated in the clinical trials were able to conceive after vaccination, and many who have since been vaccinated have become pregnant afterwards. There is no evidence to show that the COVID-19 vaccines lead to reduced fertility.
- The COVID-19 vaccine will alter my DNA.
There are currently two types of COVID-19 vaccines: messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines and a viral vector vaccine. Both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus. But it never actually enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the genetic material in the vaccines cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way.
- I’ve already been diagnosed with COVID-19, so I don’t need the vaccine.
The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last very long. However, those who have had COVID-19 should delay vaccination until about 90 days from diagnosis. People should not get vaccinated if in quarantine after exposure or if they have COVID-19 symptoms.
- COVID-19 vaccines were developed using fetal tissue.
Neither the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine nor the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines contain fetal cells nor were fetal cells used the development or production of either vaccine.
SOURCES & ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
- CDC MYTHS & FACTS
- JOHNS HOPKINS: MYTH VS. FACT
- MAYO CLINIC: COVID-19 MYTHS DEBUNKED
- UNC HEALTH VACCINE HUB
- DELTA HEALTH ALLIANCE MISSISSIPPI RIVER PROJECT