When federal authorities decided this week to grant the first approval for COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, rumors were flying about the safety and possible side effects of the vaccines. In the minds of many people, a hierarchy of Covid vaccines has been created, from the best to the worst. Most posts claim that the WHO definition of herd immunity has changed from something achieved after infection by vaccination to a threshold defined only by vaccination levels, and has since become widespread on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
The vaccine also seems to be 95% effective, even if it is not 100% effective, so caution is required even when vaccinated. Pfizer and Moderna are fast – they are tracking the COVID-19 vaccine and therefore do not have sufficient data on the vaccine’s safety. If herd immunity for a vaccine currently being developed is not yet achieved, it would be better to give researchers more time to find antiviral treatment. It is amazing that we still have to be amazing, but there are many people who exercise caution even when people are vaccinated.
In this post, I will highlight some common myths and misconceptions about the vaccine so that you know the facts when it’s your turn to get vaccinated or forget to get vaccinated. You can learn about these facts without spreading myths by visiting a trusted website like the CDC if you have any questions or concerns about vaccination.
Dr. Stappenbeck helps to clarify some of the general questions, concerns and myths that have arisen around the COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more about the AMA, its development, how it works, what some common myths about the vaccine are, deal with these misconceptions, find out if policy changes are needed to overcome vaccination – resistant strains of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), and learn about how to take further steps to prevent infection. If you are hesitant to get vaccinated, see the CDC’s Vaccine Safety page for more information on how the vaccine works.
The latest COVID-19 Vaccination Monitor tested various messages and information that could increase the likelihood of getting vaccinated against CO VID-19, noting that the messages that the public found most convincing were particularly highlighted. Two thirds (67%) of respondents said that vaccination would protect them from diseases and 64% said that it was highly effective. Understanding people’s concerns and reservations about this vaccine can be important in sending an effective message to convince people to get vaccinated. In fact, according to the CDC, two-thirds of people vaccinated report returning to normal life within two weeks of vaccination.
Concerns about safety and side effects are high among those who want to see how the vaccine works, while they are less likely to be hesitant to get vaccinated. Of particular concern is that more than half (52%) of them said they were less willing to get vaccinated if they heard of rare allergic reactions or short-term side effects such as fever, rash or diarrhea, and half of this group said the same about hearing short-term side effects. Half of black and Hispanic adults also said they had been vaccinated against a vaccine with a high risk of serious side effects, making them more reluctant to get vaccinated; about half in both groups said the same thing to hear about the short- and long-term side effects.
One in five adults is unwilling to get vaccinated, including 7% who say they will not get the vaccine because they need it for work, school or other activities, and 13% say they will definitely not get it. Concerns about vaccination are not entirely absent among those who are eager to get vaccinated – even those who have already received at least one dose of a vaccine.
Among black and Hispanic adults who have not been vaccinated, about two-thirds say they do not have enough information about the vaccine’s side effects, and about six in ten say the same about its effectiveness. Vaccine Monitor also reports that those who have not yet been vaccinated have heard misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine and believe it to be true, but are not sure whether it is true or false. Most often, they believe that all vaccines currently being distributed contain a live virus that causes COVID-20, which is not the case. A small proportion believes or is aware that the COVID-21 vaccine has been shown to cause infertility and that if they are vaccinated, they will have to pay a $12 pocket money. Another 11% said they had heard about it but were not sure it was true.
Many parents of children under 2 also question the safety of the growing number of recommended vaccines, such as the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella), because they fear that their children will be exposed to the vaccine and their bodies will develop resistance. Many ideas circulating online are untrue, and experts say there are no side effects from vaccines. Some people who believe that vaccinations cause a range of medical problems have railed against vaccinations, believing that they cause infertility and other health problems.