Debunking COVID-19 vaccine myths




Myth 1: The vaccine was rushed so it can’t be safe.

The COVID-19 vaccines are new but the technology used to make these vaccines is not new. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which have been granted Emergency Use authorized by the FDA, are both mRNA vaccines. Years before the pandemic broke out, this technology was studied and these vaccines are only available now so quickly because of that research.

Both vaccines were also thoroughly studied and reviewed before they were granted approval by the FDA. Around 40,000 participants took part in the Pfizer trial and around 30,000 participants took part in the Moderna trial. These two vaccines have been given to millions in the U.S. alone already. A third vaccine by Johnson & Johnson has also been approved for emergency use by the FDA. All three vaccines are considered to be safe.

Myth 2: The vaccine will impact fertility.

There is absolutely no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine will impact fertility. Safety data from the FDA for the Pfizer vaccine trial found no difference in the number of people who got pregnant in the vaccine group as the placebo group. Among the people who did get pregnant in the study, there were no self-reported pregnancy-related adverse events reported.

In addition, the CDC states women who are trying to become pregnant may receive the vaccine.

Learn more about pregnancy and the vaccine.

Myth 3: The vaccine will cause serious side effects including anaphylaxis.

Serious side effects from the vaccine are uncommon. Anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction, is the most serious possible side effect. But that only happens once in approximately 100,000 shots. By comparison, those reactions are more common in bee stings, fire ant stings, nuts and a host of antibiotics.

Myth 4: The vaccine causes Bell’s Palsy.

There have been some reports of cases of Bell’s Palsy, a condition that causes weakness or paralysis in the face. The FDA has not concluded these cases were caused by the vaccine. So anyone who has had Bell’s Palsy in the past may still get the vaccine.

Myth 5: The shot is unsafe for people who have had Guillain-Barre.

Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare disorder that can cause nerve damage. This can happen after an infection from a virus or bacteria or from other causes. According to the CDC, no cases of Guillain-Barre have been reported in people who received the mRNA vaccines during clinical trials.

It has been found that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may cause a very small risk for Guillain-Barre syndrome and the FDA updated the label on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to include an increased risk of Guillain-Barre for the 42 days after vaccination. Since the risk of COVID-19 is far greater than the very rare occurrence of Guillain-Barre syndrome, vaccination using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine continues to be recommended. People with a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome occurring after vaccination should speak with their doctor before getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccination.

Myth 6: The vaccine was developed using fetal tissue.

Fetal tissue was not used at any time in the development or production of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

Myth 7: Once I get the vaccine I can go travel again.

Even if you get the vaccine, you still need to take the proper precautions to protect yourself and others, including wearing a mask and avoiding crowds. While it is safer for fully vaccinated people to travel, there are still some risks associated with it, especially when traveling internationally where there are new variants.

Myth 8: The vaccine will implant a microchip in me.

One conspiracy theory that has circulated online is that the vaccine will implant a microchip in you. This is completely untrue. In addition, the vaccine cannot alter your genes or DNA.