By Mariem ELTagoury
It seems that the past two years have exposed the ugly side of the lawless grounds of the internet. Myths are now perceived as facts, while science has been buried by the algorithm as unsensational. Being a science major graduate and having worked in the healthcare system, I can see the frustration that comes to my colleagues with having to answer all the weird questions caused by the myths about the COVID-19 vaccine. So, this is a small effort to clear up any myths, and get the facts straight.
COVID-19 Vaccine Can Stop Variants – FACT!
COVID-19 vaccinations can help prevent the emergence of new variants.When a virus spreads, there is a higher opportunity for it to change and create new variants. High vaccination coverage in a population reduces the spread of the virus and helps prevent new variants from emerging.
Pfizer & Moderna Are Not Really Vaccines – MYTH!
Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA vaccines.Although this sort of vaccine is new, it has been the subject of decades of research and development. There is no live virus in the mRNA vaccinations. The way they operate is that they teach our cells to create a harmless version of a “spike protein,” that is, the protein found on the surface of the virus which is the main cause of COVID-19. When an immune response begins, antibodies are produced. Unlike mRNA vaccines, other types of vaccines use part of the virus, or a weakened form of it, to incite the body’s immune response against the virus.
The Chinese & Russian Vaccines are Trustworthy – FACT!
For quite some time, evidence has accumulated showing the vaccinations produced in those countries are effective. The Lancet, one of the biggest medical journals, published interim results from late-stage trials proving that Sputnik V, the Russian vaccine, had 91.6 percent efficacy. Trial results in the UAE placed the efficacy of the Sinopharm vaccine at 86 percent; others, in China, at 79 percent.
COVID-19 Vaccines Contain Microchips – MYTH!
A 25-gauge needle, roughly half a millimetre across with an interior diameter of one-quarter millimetre, is used to give the vaccination. When doctors insert chips into animals, they would have to use a bigger needle, 12–15 gauge, which has an outer diameter of approximately 1.83 mm. To put it simply, the needle used to vaccinate people is too small for a chip. Also, the purpose of the vaccine is to stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies, and tracking people can be done effortlessly through social media and smartphones (well, that’s another important topic, but beware of that too!). Doctors and scientists don’t care where you are, as long as it is as far away from the hospital as possible!
COVID-19 Vaccines Can Alter DNA – MYTH!
Vaccines have no effect on your DNA and do not interact with it in any way. Both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines send instructions, or genetic material, to our cells to start creating immunity to fight the virus that causes the disease. The material never makes it into the nucleus of the cell, where our DNA is maintained.
COVID-19 Vaccine Has the Potential to Make Me Sick – MYTH!
COVID-19 immunizations train our immune systems to recognise and combat the COVID-19 virus. Symptoms may occur, however, such as fever. These symptoms are the same as those experienced with other known vaccines and are nothing to worry about because they mean that the body is creating immunity against the virus that causes COVID-19. Just because you experience these symptoms does not mean you are infected with COVID-19. Also, these symptoms are short-lived, unlike those of the COVID-19 disease.
If You Are Pregnant or Breastfeeding, You Can’t Get Vaccinated – MYTH!
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are safe for pregnant and breast-feeding women. It is wise to get vaccinated, so as not to get infected with COVID-19 and possibly infect the baby who is not vaccinated and who is probably very weak to fight the virus.
If You Want to Get Pregnant, You Can’t Get Vaccinated – Myth!
Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines do not affect fertility. None of the vaccines available worldwide have been proven to affect fertility in the long run.
If You’ve Had COVID-19, You Are Immune and Don’t Need the Vaccine – MYTH!
While evidence suggests there is some level of immunity for those who previously had COVID-19, it is not known how long you can be protected from getting COVID-19 again. Plus, the level of immunity provided by the vaccines after having COVID-19 is higher than the level of immunity for those who had COVID-19 but were not subsequently vaccinated.
Researchers Rushed the COVID-19 Vaccine, so It Cannot Be Trusted – MYTH!
Scientists managed to develop vaccines quickly for a number of reasons:
- China isolated and shared genetic information about COVID-19 promptly, so scientists could start working on vaccines.
- The vaccines were created with a method that has been in the making for years. Therefore, companies found the basis upon which the vaccine development process took place early in the pandemic.
Vaccines Cause Autism – MYTH!
There is no scientific proof that any vaccine that is offered to children or adults causes autism. This myth was caused by a false study that was published in 1998, and the medical journal that published the paper had to retract it and the doctor who wrote it lost his medical license. In the past 23 years of scientific research, no evidence has emerged proving any relation between autism and vaccines.
We hope you found these facts helpful in clearing up misconceptions about the COVID-19 vaccine. Please note that all information here is aligned with the messaging from the World Health Organization and the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population.