Addressing bizarre Covid-19 vaccine myths one at a time!

For a crisis that seemed unending in 2020, we may have finally arrived at the light at the end of the tunnel — the mass rollout of Covid-19 vaccines has kicked off the biggest inoculation campaign in history.

Covid-19 vaccines from a variety of manufacturers such as Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Sinopharm have been authorized for rollout in various countries while the shot by AstraZeneca has been authorized for use by the UK government.

Here, we address some of the common misunderstandings and myths related to Covid-19 vaccines.

I don’t have to follow SOPs or take precautions after the vaccine

One of the most common misconceptions about not just the Covid-19 vaccines but vaccines, in general, is that they provide some kind of one-shot permanent protection. This is not true since no vaccine is 100pc effective and there’s always a chance you might fall ill again since vaccines have an active life of a couple of months. This is also why we need booster shots since the effects of the vaccine can wane off.

You should, therefore, continue with following standard operating procedures and taking precautions for Covid-19 since it is still not known if vaccinated individuals can act as carriers or not.

Furthermore, there have been cases of some individuals getting infected with Covid-19 despite being vaccinated. This is because the effect of the vaccine kicks in over several days and you aren’t afforded complete protection until you complete the vaccination course.

“We know from the vaccine clinical trials that it’s going to take about 10 to 14 days for you to start to develop protection from the vaccine. That first dose we think gives you somewhere around 50pc, and you need that second dose to get up to 95pc,” said Dr. Christian Ramers, an infectious disease specialist with Family Health Centres of San Diego.

Have people died after getting the Covid-19 vaccine?

You might be one of the many who have heard the rumor that the coronavirus vaccines “killed early adopters”. You may have come across many posts and manipulated videos of this nature on social media platforms as well.

The truth is that there have been no deaths from the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

But what about people who died in the vaccine trials?

Yes, people did die during trials for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine but those deaths were not caused by the vaccine. Only two out of the six people who died from a trial of 44,000 samples were actually administered the vaccine. The others had received placebos.

“None of these deaths were assessed by the investigator as related to study intervention. All deaths represent events that occur in the general population of the age groups where they occurred, at a similar rate,” said the US Food and Drug Administration on the deaths.

The vaccine can induce allergic reactions, making it dangerous to take

Footage and news of allergic reactions from the vaccine shots have been making rounds for a while now around the globe.

The vaccines may induce an allergic reaction in some individuals but this is not a cause for concern since allergic reactions are a natural part of the body responding to the vaccine. That being said, allergic reactions in the coronavirus vaccines are typically rare, occurring at a rate of about one in a million.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham says according to data from 40,000 individuals, the most common reactions were injection site reactions (84.1%), fatigue (62.9%), headache (55.1%), muscle pain (38.3%), chills (31.9%), joint pain (23.6%) and fever (14.2%). These are short-lived and mean the body’s immune system is reacting to the vaccine and producing antibodies.

Those with a history of severe allergic reactions have been advised to not take the vaccine at this time. The cases reported in the media of those who had severe reactions, most of them had a history of being prone to allergies.

Do Covid-19 vaccines have microchips that can track patients?

Vaccines almost always have various conspiracy theories surrounding them. Stories of secret societies using vaccines to quell the populace and establish their dominance for some ‘new world order’ are very common.

Among the popular theories about Covid-19 vaccines is that they contain microchips, which track patients and keep a record of their movement and in more extreme scenarios, serve as mechanisms of mind control.

Outside the realm of fanciful fiction, the truth is no microchip of any kind is inserted into patients to track them after a vaccine shot. The microchip is not even currently used for vaccine production and has an entirely different purpose.

It is attached like a barcode to vials of the vaccines and tracks information about remaining doses, expiry dates, etc, and does not contain personal information about patients.

Will the Covid-19 vaccine alter and change my DNA?

The idea that the coronavirus vaccines will change humans on a genetic level is one of the most common myths surrounding them. No, they will not alter or change your DNA in any way. Vaccines based on mRNA technology like Pfizer and Moderna merely use genetic material from the virus to send instructions to your body which helps it to produce antibodies to fight the virus.

“Injecting RNA into a person doesn’t do anything to the DNA of a human cell,” Prof Jeffrey Almond of Oxford University was quoted as saying by the BBC.

According to Blumberg, these are not DNA-based vaccines. “They’re mRNA-based. They do not enter the cell nucleus, where our DNA is. They cannot modify any cell DNA.”

It is, thus, physically impossible for mRNAs to change your genetic structure.

Do vaccines use tissue from an aborted fetus?

In a claim right out of the pages of some science-fiction horror story, there is one theory floating around in the USA that coronavirus vaccines use material from aborted fetuses in their composition.

This has no truth to it; vaccines do not use material originating from the fetal tissue of an aborted baby at any point of the design process. This claim appears to have originated because of a misunderstanding of how the vaccine research and production process works.

“There are no fetal cells used in any vaccine production process,” said Dr. Michael Head, of the University of Southampton, to BBC.

The vaccine production process uses cloned human cells to research how the virus and vaccine interact with human cells. These cells are only for research and are not present in the final vaccine. They also do not come from the cells of an aborted fetus but are artificially grown in a lab.

So the notion that he plans to avoid the vaccine is a patently silly one. :/

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store