A Dose of Truth: COVID-19 Vaccine Myths: What Orange County Residents Need to Know
COVID-19 Vaccine Myths last updated on 5/17/2021.
The COVID-19 vaccine brings the promise of global relief from the pandemic. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of misinformation surrounding the vaccine and its development.
Here are some myths and correlating facts about the vaccine:
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe because it was developed so quickly.
Fact: Although it was developed in record time, the vaccine has gone through FDA’s rigorous process to meet all safety standards. No steps were skipped and no shortcuts were taken. The vaccine is proven safe and effective. In addition, the research behind the vaccines that use messenger-RNA (mRNA) have been going on for more than 30 years. This many years’ worth of established research has allowed these mRNA vaccinations to be ready at a faster speed.
Myth: I have already had COVID-19, so I do not need the vaccine.
Fact: If you have already had COVID-19, you should still get the vaccine after you have recovered from the illness and meet the criteria to discontinue isolation. We do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. It is possible, although rare, that you could be infected again. Current evidence suggests that natural immunity from an infection does not last as long as immunity from the vaccination.
Myth: The vaccine does not protect against the newer super spreader strains of the virus.
Fact: New variants of the virus that cause COVID-19 are spreading in the United States. Current data suggest that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. offer protection against most variants. However, some variants might cause illness in some people after they are fully vaccinated. One of the reasons for the push for vaccination is that the longer this virus is allowed to run through the population the more variants will arise. The sooner everyone is vaccinated; the sooner we will help stop the development of variants, possibly even super variants.
Myth: I do not need to get the vaccine because advances in medical care – such as plasma therapy and other treatments – have progressed, and COVID-19 can easily be treated.
Fact: Although medical experts have learned more about COVID-19 and advancements in treatments have occurred, you still need to get the vaccine, which is the surest way to prevent contracting the virus. The benefits of new therapies have been modest, so the vaccine is by far the best strategy.
Myth: I will become COVID-19 positive once I get the vaccine.
Fact: You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine because the vaccine contains no live coronavirus whatsoever.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine causes severe side effects.
Fact: Like all vaccines, severe side effects can occur, but these are extremely rare. The most reported side effects are similar to those experienced with other vaccines and include injection-site soreness, fatigue and body aches. Experiencing these side effects means your immune system is responding to the vaccine and creating antibodies against COVID-19. Vaccine providers are observing people with a history of anaphylaxis for 30 minutes and all other individuals for 15 minutes after receiving the shot.
Myth: The vaccine is too new, and I am not comfortable with having anyone in my family take it.
Fact: The vaccines have been tested thoroughly and are safe. Currently the risk to you and your family of severe illness, hospitalization and death, is greater than the risk of any of the rare undesired consequences from the vaccine. You should educate yourself with trustworthy and credible information from the CDC. Be wary of false and potentially harmful misinformation. Get the facts from reliable information sources and make an informed, educated decision for yourself.
Myth: COVID-19’s survival rate is high; therefore I do not need the vaccine.
Fact: Although the virus kills a higher percentage of our most vulnerable population (e.g., older and those with underlying health issues), if you are not vaccinated you could still pass on the virus to someone who might be severely affected or die from the virus. The virus has also killed young, healthy people and children. At this point, we still do not understand the possible long-term health issues that COVID-19 might cause to anyone who has had the disease.
Myth: I can die from an allergic reaction to the vaccine.
Fact: There is a very remote chance the vaccine could cause an allergic reaction in some people within an hour of receiving the shot, but such reactions are likely to be mild and not life-threatening. Vaccine providers observe people with a history of anaphylaxis for 30 minutes and all other individuals for 15 minutes after receiving the shot. The vaccines have been successfully given to millions of individuals in the United States and around the world.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine includes a microchip tracking device.
Fact: An inaccurate video circulating on social media falsely claims that vaccines for COVID-19 have a microchip that “tracks the location of the patient.” There is no microchip in the vaccine.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine causes infertility in women.
Fact: There is simply no evidence or even a credible theory to come to this conclusion. Much of this misinformation is spread via inaccurate information on social media.
Myth: I received the flu vaccine, so I do not need the COVID-19 vaccine.
Fact: False. The flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine are completely different vaccines, and must be administered separately.
Myth: If a COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses, I only really need one dose.
Fact: False. You need both doses, if required by that particular vaccine, for full immunity. The first dose, depending on the brand, only provides partial protection.
Myth: The Florida Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) vaccination site at the Convention Center is throwing away unused vaccine doses at the end of the day.
Fact: The Florida Department of Health in Orange County carefully plans the number of vaccines drawn and ready for residents to be vaccinated so none will be discarded.
The staff monitors the schedule each day and double checks the number of vaccine doses that are drawn. It has been a very successful approach. However, if there are any remaining doses and no patients are at the drive-through at the end of a shift, the doses are put into the arms of DOH-Orange staff. Some doses have had to be discarded, but that is due to issues with damaged needles and it has been a minimal problem. DOH-Orange requests that no one show up at the site for “extra” doses at the end of the day as this is an appointment-only site.
For more information, visit ocfl.net/vaccine.
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