Myths vs. Facts


Myths vs. Facts

Myth #1

COVID-19 vaccines are not safe because they were developed and tested quickly.


Many pharmaceutical companies have invested significant resources into developing COVID-19 vaccines quickly because of the emergency created by the worldwide pandemic. However, it does not mean the companies bypassed safety protocols or performed inadequate testing. For example, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but it has also been studied in approximately 43,000 people. To secure emergency use authorization, biopharmaceutical manufacturers must have followed at least half of the participants in their vaccine trials for two months after completing the series. All vaccines must be proven safe and effective on trial populations before applying for approval. In addition to FDA review, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has convened a panel of vaccine safety experts to independently evaluate the safety data from the clinical trial. The safety of the COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be closely monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA.

Myth #2

I already had COVID-19 and I have recovered, so I don’t need to get vaccinated for COVID-19.


There isn’t enough information currently available to say if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again. This is called natural immunity. Early evidence suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 may not last long, but more studies are needed to better understand this. Medical experts recommend getting the COVID-19 vaccine even if you’ve had COVID-19 previously. However, those who have had COVID-19 should delay vaccination until 90 days from diagnosis. Also, individuals in quarantine after exposure shouldn’t be vaccinated.

Myth #3

COVID-19 vaccines have severe side effects.


COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to have short-term mild or moderate vaccine reactions. Some participants in the Pfizer-BioNTech study experienced pain at the injection site or developed headache, fatigue or muscle pain lasting a day or two. These types of side effects are common with vaccinations.

Myth #4

I don’t need to wear a mask after I get vaccinated for COVID-19.


It may take time for everyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccination to get one. Also, while the vaccine may prevent you from getting sick, it is unknown whether you can still carry and transmit the virus to others after vaccination. Until more is understood about the how well the vaccination works, continuing with precautions, such as wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing, and washing hands frequently, will be important.

Myth #5

More people will die as a result of a negative side effect to the COVID-19 vaccination than would die from the virus.


A claim circulating on social media is that the COVID-19 mortality rate is 1 to 2 percent and that people should not be vaccinated against a virus with a high survival rate. However, a 1 percent mortality rate is 10 times deadlier than the seasonal flu. The mortality rate can vary widely based on age, sex, and underlying health conditions. People receiving the COVID-19 vaccination are experiencing only mild to moderate side effects that are common with any vaccination. It’s also important to recognize that getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is not just about survival from COVID-19 but preventing the spread of the virus to others and preventing infection that leads to long-term negative health effects.

Myth #6

COVID-19 vaccines were developed to control the population through microchip tracking or “nanotransducers” in the human brain.


There is no vaccine microchip, and the vaccine will not track people or gather personal information into a database. This myth started after comments made by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation about a digital certificate of vaccine records. The technology they were referencing is not a microchip, has not been implemented in any manner, and is not tied to the development, testing or distribution of the vaccines.

Myth #7

COVID-19 vaccines will alter my DNA.


The first COVID-19 vaccines to reach the market are likely to be messenger RNA, or mRNA, vaccines. Messenger RNA vaccines work by instructing cells in the body how to make a protein that triggers an immune response, according to the CDC. Injecting messenger RNA into your body will not interact or do anything to the DNA of your cells. Human cells break down and get rid of the messenger RNA soon after they have finished using the instructions.

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