Coronavirus vaccine myths busted by experts
Jane Lee MD winces when she gets a Covid-19 shot in Weymouth, Massachusetts.
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Vaccine skepticism and a downright feeling against vaccination have been widespread in recent months, with an increasing number of members of the public questioning not only the effectiveness of vaccines, but also their development practices, safety standards and goals.
The rapid development of coronavirus vaccines over the past year, a pressing matter in the face of the destruction of lives and livelihoods caused by the global pandemic, has made them a prime target for hesitation and myth.
However, disinformation and misinformation that cast doubt on safety and effectiveness can put lives at risk.
The World Health Organization said vaccine reluctance was among the top ten global health threats in 2019. Vaccination “prevents 2-3 million deaths a year, and an additional 1.5 million could be avoided if global vaccination coverage were improved.”
When it comes to Covid-19 vaccines, experts and public health officials say it is critical to tackle misinformation (incorrect or inaccurate information) and the more nefarious disinformation (incorrect information intended to mislead people) about vaccination. Here are some of the main myths floating around about coronavirus vaccines:
Myth: Covid-19 vaccines are unsafe because they were developed too quickly
Fact: The coronavirus vaccines currently in use have been subjected to rigorous and rigorous clinical trials after initial animal testing, involving thousands of human participants.
The vaccine manufacturers insisted that no corners were cut, and the test results showed that the vaccines are safe and effective. Prior to approval for use, vaccine trial data – such as those from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca University – have been rigorously scrutinized by regulatory agencies such as the US Food and Drug Administration, the European Medicines Agency and the UK’s drug regulatory agency and health products.
In late-stage clinical trials, both Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to be 95% and 94.1% effective, respectively, at preventing severe Covid-19 infection. The vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca had an average effectiveness of 70%.
When the UK became the first country to approve the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine in early December, Dr. June Raine, UK chief executive officer of MHRA, said the approval had not been curtailed and said experts had “worked diligently around the clock” methodically searching tables, analysis and graphs for every single piece of data. ”
MHRA scientists and clinicians performed an “ongoing review” of data provided during clinical trials to expedite vaccine evaluation and approval. This is critical, the MHRA said in view of the public health emergency.
Chinese healthcare workers and volunteers wear protective clothing when registering people to be given a Covid-19 vaccination sting at a mass vaccination center for the Chaoyang District in Beijing, China, Jan. 15, 2021.
Kevin Frayer | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Myth: Coronavirus vaccines change DNA
Fact: The coronavirus vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna contain messenger RNA (or mRNA), which instructs our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. This creates immunity to the virus that causes Covid.
The mRNA (i.e., the instructions) from a Covid vaccine never makes it to the nucleus where our DNA is stored, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“This means that the mRNA cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, Covid-19 mRNA vaccines work with the body’s natural defense mechanisms to develop safe immunity against disease.” In addition, immune cells are broken down and the mRNA is removed soon after the instructions are completed. Further information on the CDC can be found here.
Myth: Coronavirus vaccines affect fertility
Fact: Some women fear that the coronavirus vaccine could affect their fertility and there has been a lot of misinformation about it online. In fact, the UK’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Royal College of Midwives issued a statement on Covid vaccinations, fertility and pregnancy on Tuesday.
In it, Dr. Edward Morris, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “We want to reassure women that there is no evidence that Covid-19 vaccines affect fertility. Claims of effects of Covid-19 vaccines against fertility are and will be speculative not supported by any data. “
He continued, “There is no biologically plausible mechanism by which current vaccines could affect fertility in women. No evidence has been presented that vaccinated women continue to have fertility problems.”
A woman is vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.
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Myth: The vaccine is unsafe for me because I am pregnant
Fact: There is limited data on the safety of Covid-19 vaccines for pregnant people, according to the CDC.
Of the data available from animal studies, “no safety concerns have been demonstrated in rats given Moderna COVID-19 vaccine before or during pregnancy; studies of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine are ongoing,” the CDC said.
Studies in pregnant people are planned, and both vaccine manufacturers are monitoring people who have become pregnant in the clinical studies.
In the UK, where AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are currently in use, the government says: “The vaccines have not yet been tested in pregnancy. Until further information is available, pregnant women should not receive this vaccine routinely.”
However, the government notes that evidence from non-clinical studies of Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca University vaccines has been reviewed by WHO and regulatory agencies around the world and has raised “no concerns” about safety in pregnancy.
The UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, which advises the government on its vaccination strategy, “recognizes that the potential benefits of vaccination are particularly important for some pregnant women”, including those at very high risk of infection or those with clinical infection Conditions that put them at high risk of serious complications from Covid. In these cases, the government recommends that women discuss possible vaccinations with their doctor.
Traders work on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Myth: If you’ve had the vaccine, you don’t have to wear a mask
Fact: Even if you are immunized against Covid, you can still pass the virus on to others. We still don’t know how vaccination affects transmission, and until we do – and although many people aren’t vaccinated – people will be told to follow socially distant guidelines, wear masks, and wash hands to avoid one to prevent possible transmission of the virus.
Myth: I don’t need the vaccine because I already had Covid
A trained nurse takes care of a Covid-19 patient in the intensive care unit at St. Mary Medical Center in Providence, St. Mary, in Apple Valley, California on January 11, 2021.
Ariana Drehsler | AFP | Getty Images
Myth: You can get Covid-19 from the vaccine
Fact: You cannot get Covid from the Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna Coronavirus vaccines as they do not contain a live virus. Oxford University’s Vaccine Knowledge Project explains that the active ingredient in the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine “is made from a modified adenovirus that causes colds in chimpanzees. This virus has been modified so that it cannot cause infection. It is used to provide the genetic code for the coronavirus spike protein. “