Covid Vaccine Myths Debunked
MYTH: The ingredients in COVID-19 vaccines are dangerous.
FACT: Nearly all the ingredients in COVID-19 vaccines are also ingredients in many foods – fats, sugars, and salts.
Exact vaccine ingredients vary by manufacturer. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines also contain messenger RNA (mRNA) and the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine contains a harmless version of a virus unrelated to the virus that causes COVID-19. These give instructions to cells in your body to create an immune response. This response helps protect you from getting sick with COVID-19 in the future. After the body produces an immune response, it discards all the vaccine ingredients just as it would discard any information that cells no longer need. This process is a part of normal body functioning.
COVID-19 vaccines do NOT contain ingredients like preservatives, tissues (like aborted fetal cells), antibiotics, food proteins, medicines, latex, or metals.
MYTH: The natural immunity I get from being sick with COVID-19 is better than the immunity I get from COVID-19 vaccination.
FACT: Getting a COVID-19 vaccination is a safer and more dependable way to build immunity to COVID-19 than getting sick with COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccination causes a more predictable immune response than infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine gives most people a high level of protection against COVID-19 and can provide added protection for people who already had COVID-19. One study showed that, for people who already had COVID-19, those who do not get vaccinated after their recovery are more than 2 times as likely to get COVID-19 again than those who get fully vaccinated after their recovery.
All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United Kingdom are effective at preventing COVID-19. Getting sick with COVID-19 can offer some protection from future illness, sometimes called “natural immunity,” but the level of protection people get from having COVID-19 may vary depending on how mild or severe their illness was, the time since their infection, and their age.
Getting a COVID-19 vaccination is also a safer way to build protection than getting sick with COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without you having to experience sickness. Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Getting sick with COVID-19 can cause severe illness or death, and we can’t reliably predict who will have mild or severe illness. If you get sick, you can spread COVID-19 to others. You can also continue to have long-term health issues after COVID-19 infection.
MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines cause variants.
FACT: COVID-19 vaccines do not create or cause variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. Instead, COVID-19 vaccines can help prevent new variants from emerging.
New variants of a virus happen because the virus that causes COVID-19 constantly changes through a natural ongoing process of mutation (change). As the virus spreads, it has more opportunities to change. High vaccination coverage in a population reduces the spread of the virus and helps prevent new variants from emerging.
MYTH: The mRNA vaccine is not considered a vaccine.
FACT: mRNA vaccines, such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, work differently than other types of vaccines, but they still trigger an immune response inside your body.
This type of vaccine is new, but research and development on it has been underway for decades.
The mRNA vaccines do not contain any live virus. Instead, they work by teaching our cells to make a harmless piece of a “spike protein,” which is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. After making the protein piece, cells display it on their surface. Our immune system then recognizes that it does not belong there and responds to get rid of it. When an immune response begins, antibodies are produced, creating the same response that happens in a natural infection.
In contrast to mRNA vaccines, many other vaccines use a piece of, or weakened version of, the germ that the vaccine protects against. This is how the measles and flu vaccines work. When a weakened or small part of the virus is introduced to your body, you make antibodies to help protect against future infection.
MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips.
FACT: COVID-19 vaccines do not contain microchips. Vaccines are developed to fight against disease and are not administered to track your movement.
Vaccines work by stimulating your immune system to produce antibodies, exactly like it would if you were exposed to the disease. After getting vaccinated, you develop immunity to that disease, without having to get the disease first.
MYTH: Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine can make you magnetic.
FACT: Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will not make you magnetic, including at the site of vaccination which is usually your arm.
COVID-19 vaccines do not contain ingredients that can produce an electromagnetic field at the site of your injection. All COVID-19 vaccines are free from metals. If you want to test this please bring something metal in the pharmacy and try to stick it on our staff! We're all vaccinated :-)
MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the UK shed or release their components.
FACT: Vaccine shedding is the release or discharge of any of the vaccine components in or outside of the body and can only occur when a vaccine contains a live weakened version of the virus.
None of the vaccines authorized for use in the UK contain a live virus.
MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines can alter my DNA.
FACT: COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.
Both messenger RNA (mRNA) and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines work by delivering instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
After the body produces an immune response, it discards all the vaccine ingredients just as it would discard any information that cells no longer need. This process is a part of normal body functioning.
The genetic material delivered by mRNA vaccines never enters the nucleus of your cells, which is where your DNA is kept. Viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver genetic material to the cell nucleus to allow our cells to build protection against COVID-19. However, the vector virus does not have the machinery needed to integrate its genetic material into our DNA, so it cannot alter our DNA.
MYTH: A COVID-19 vaccine can make me sick with COVID-19.
FACT: Because none of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the United Kingdom contain the live virus that causes COVID-19, the vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
November 20th, 2021