When it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, there’s a lot of information out there — in news reports, on social media or from the people in your life. With so much to consider, we’d like to offer you the facts around these vaccines so you can make an informed decision about your own health.
MYTH: THE VACCINE WAS RUSHED, SO IT CAN’T BE TRUSTED.
Researchers have been working on the technology behind Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines, and on other coronavirus vaccines, for more than three decades. And, because COVID-19 was so widespread, it took only a few months to collect enough information from tens of thousands of volunteers in clinical trials to determine that the vaccines are safe and effective.
MYTH: THE PFIZER AND MODERNA VACCINE TRIALS DID NOT INCLUDE MINORITY PATIENTS, SO THE VACCINE WON’T WORK FOR THEM.
The Pfizer and Moderna clinical trials each included between 30,000 and 45,000 people, for a total of more than 70,000 participants. Of those people who were in the trial, 27,000 were over age 55, and 23,000 were people of color. The vaccine was equally effective across age groups and racial/ethnic groups.
MYTH: I COULD GET COVID-19 FROM THE VACCINE.
Neither vaccine contains the virus, so you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The vaccine stimulates your immune system to fight off the disease; it doesn’t actually cause an infection.
MYTH: THE VACCINE WILL CHANGE MY DNA.
There is nothing in either vaccine that could affect a person’s genetic makeup. The vaccine tells your cells to make markers (proteins) that are the same as the virus, which your body then recognizes and builds antibodies against. The vaccine doesn’t ever interact with your body’s DNA.
MYTH: THE VACCINE CAN AFFECT WOMEN’S FERTILITY.
There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine affects fertility. Social media has incorrectly reported that the vaccine’s spike protein looks the same as one involved in the attachment of the placenta during pregnancy. THIS IS NOT TRUE. The two spike proteins are completely different. Multiple women did conceive during the COVID-19 trials. The vaccine will not affect a woman’s fertility or ability to become pregnant.
MYTH: I SHOULDN’T GET THE VACCINE IF I AM PREGNANT, BREASTFEEDING, IMMUNOCOMPROMISED, OR HAVE FOOD ALLERGIES.
The conditions above are generally not considered reasons to avoid the vaccine. Talk to your doctor about whether the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks of getting COVID-19 in your situation.
MYTH: THE VACCINE WON’T BE COVERED BY INSURANCE, AND PEOPLE WITHOUT INSURANCE CANNOT GET THE VACCINE.
Everyone can be vaccinated when they become eligible, and the vaccine is free of charge.
MYTH: AFTER BOTH VACCINE DOSES, I DON’T NEED TO WEAR A MASK OR PRACTICE PHYSICAL DISTANCING.
Once you have received both doses of the vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna), you are much less likely to become sick with COVID-19. We don’t yet know if you could become infected and just not be sick. Because of this, you could still become infected and pass the infection on to others, so continuing masking and social distancing will be very important.
To pre-register, visit bjc.org/vaccinate.