Myths Debunked About the COVID Vaccine

Posted on October 11, 2021

The American Academy of Neurology supports the vaccination recommendations by the FDA. In addition, the AAN strongly encourages all neurology health care providers to become vaccinated against COVID-19 and support all patients who qualify. Along with following practices such as social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand washing.

Myths surrounding Coronavirus vaccine:

  1. Receiving the vaccine will give you Coronavirus:
    None of the vaccines authorized for use since Jan. 2021 have attenuated live viruses that may cause COVID-19. However, immunity against the virus builds up after two doses. So, it's possible that if the person has been infected with the virus just before or after the vaccination may get sick as the vaccine had not had enough time to provide protection.
  2. The vaccine will change my DNA: 
    The Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines employ mRNA, which does not touch the cell's nucleus where the genetic material DNA resides and therefore cannot interfere with its pattern or cause any alteration. The mRNA vaccines act as a trigger for the cell to produce a protein that resembles a part of the COVID-19 virus triggering the body’s immune and producing antibodies. 
  3. mRNA technology is too new & hastily brought to the market:
    The mRNA technology had been in the development pipeline for over a decade to create effective vaccines. The vaccine was developed relatively quickly, tested in clinical trials, and released for use resulted from massive national and international efforts and involved an unprecedented worldwide collaboration. Also, there was no shortage of volunteers for human trials. 
  4. The vaccine causes allergic reactions and is not safe: 
    The most common anaphylactic reaction is a rash at the injection site, which can easily be managed in clinics and hospitals. Data shows 11:1 cases of allergic reactions per million doses of the vaccine with no reported deaths. New episodes of allergic reactions can occur with any vaccine or medication for reasons that seem unclear. However, the risk of severe disability, illness, or death is significantly higher in COVID-19 infection than compared to vaccination. 
  5. How long the protection lasts is still a mystery: 
    While the exact duration of protection is uncertain, recent CDC guidelines on infection risk regarding isolation if exposed after immunization suggest at least three month period of protection. An annual COVID-19 shot maybe has to be taken as with the flu shot.
  6. Only the elderly or those with comorbid medical issues need to be vaccinated: 
    People with preexisting conditions, compromised immune systems, older adults, and frontline health workers were the first to be vaccinated. However, it is critical for healthy young adults to get vaccinated as a highly contagious strain is infecting this group. Plenty of young, healthy adults can get long-term complications and turn into "long-haulers."
  7. The vaccine can cause infertility: 
    The false notion that the coronavirus spike protein mimicked in the vaccine also mimics the protein on the surface of placental cells. This is not true, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The benefits of getting vaccinated if you're pregnant or trying to get pregnant far outweigh the risk.  
  8. People who have had COVID do not need the vaccine: 
    Knowing the health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection is possible, it is necessary to get vaccinated. Also, there is a chance that the initial test was a false positive, the test may have been positive, but there was no viral infection.  
  9. It’s my choice to get vaccinated or not: 
    Not taking the COVID-19 vaccine can impact many people, as you can carry and spread the virus to your loved ones. Also the by not getting the vaccine, you are allowing the virus to replicate. Furthermore, many people are under treatment and cannot get the vaccine; they depend on others to protect them. 
  10. People who die after receiving the vaccine won’t get life insurance benefits because the vaccines are considered experimental:
    Life insurance policy contracts are very transparent on what conditions, if any, can cause a denial of benefits. COVID vaccine is not one of them; nothing has changed in the claims-paying process due to COVID-19 vaccinations. The vaccines have undergone multiple phases of clinical trials to test their safety and efficacy; hence they cannot be considered 'experimental.