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COVID Myth-Busters

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When I asked family and friends, "why have you not been vaccinated?" the myths were abundant. I want to debunk those myths with facts from reliable sources.

Specializes in 29 yrs nursing, Health Content Writer. Has 29 years experience.

Raise Your Sleeve To Fight COVID-19

COVID Myth-Busters

I posed this question to family and friends, why did you choose not to be vaccinated?  Below are the answers I received.  I have researched the myths and arrived at the facts from reliable sources we, as healthcare professionals, look to daily.  My goal is to inform and hopefully sway those who responded to my question with a myth to “Raise their sleeve against COVID-19”.

MYTH: The vaccine is too new.

Fact: The starting point was with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).  In 2003, SARS erupted and scientists began work on a vaccine. However, SARS-CoV vaccine went to pre-clinical trials but never made it to clinical trials. In 2012, MERS was discovered, scientists went to work using the previous knowledge obtained from SARS-CoV.  Both of these viruses disappeared on their own. Therefore, when COVID or SARS-CoV2 became a public health threat, a PANDEMIC, the scientists were able to use the building blocks of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV.   Scientists have been using the same platform with SARS-CoV2 to study Zika, Rabies, CMV, and even Influenza. 

MYTH: It came to market too quickly.

Fact: For new medications to come to market, it takes approximately 7-10 years from discovery to presentation to the public for use.  Pfizer and Moderna did not skip steps to complete the trials.  The three phases, 1-safety, 2-effectiveness, and 3-safety/effectiveness of the clinical trials, were sometimes run simultaneously. When the first three phases are complete, the pharmaceutical companies present their information to the FDA for approval. All steps were followed and completed with FDA safety and effectiveness approval.  The fourth phase is the continuation of monitoring for safety and effectiveness which is ongoing. 

MYTH: It will affect my DNA and thus child-bearing.

Fact: With the term mRNA, many feared this would interfere with a personal DNA makeup.  The m stands for messenger, and this is how the vaccine works.  When placed into your arm, there is a download of "instructions" to your immune system.  When the download completes, the instructions are shredded.  Your immune system develops a spike. The body sees this spike and goes to work, increasing immunity against further spikes for protection.  Cancer research has used mRNA to trigger responses from the immune system to target specific cancer cells. The vaccine never enters our cells where we find our DNA. An investigation has occurred to monitor the effects for those in child-bearing years.  All clinical trials start out using animals, rats to assess for complications.  There were no adverse effects to the rats, reported. Furthermore, if you are pregnant and vaccinated your unborn child has a head start building their own immunity before birth.

MYTH: The COVID Vaccine will magnetize you.

Fact: The COVID Vaccine will NOT magnetize you.  You will not find any metal or magnets in vaccines. The six ingredients in the vaccine are: 

  • Preservatives
  • Adjuvants
  • Stabilizers
  • Residual cell culture materials
  • Residual inactivating ingredients
  • Residual antibiotics

There have been incidental reports of a metallic taste after receiving a COVID vaccine.  

MYTH: There is not enough knowledge about the vaccine.  

Fact: According to The New England Journal of Medicine, there was a 91.3% efficacy against COVID-19 following six months of follow-up with participants without previous infection.  COVID vaccine has an efficacy rate of 96.7% in severe disease, and 86 to 100% efficacy was seen across countries and in populations with diverse ages, sexes, race or ethnic groups, and risk factors for COVID-19.   Interestingly, a 100% efficacy rate was seen in South Africa against the beta variant.  According to Rochelle Walensky, CDC Prevention Director, 99.5% of all COVID-related deaths were among the unvaccinated. According to Dr. William Moss, a vaccine expert at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, most vaccinated people with breakthrough infections experience mild illness. 

MYTH: There is a 99.6% survival rate with COVID.  

Fact:  Information reveals survival is based on pre-existing conditions and age, with the predominant factor asking, have you been vaccinated?  It is a fact that the COVID vaccine reduces, by 90%, the risk of death and severe illness.  The survival rate is calculated among those of the same age and sex.  Survival rates constantly change over time.  The current survival rate from COVID-19 is 90%, while the survival rate from influenza is 98-99%, with available data. 

MYTH: Taking supplements will protect me from being infected with COVID-19.                   

Fact:  According to the Mayo Clinic, many people take vitamin C, zinc, green tea, or echinacea to boost their immune systems. But these supplements are unlikely to affect your immune function or prevent you from getting sick. The supplement colloidal silver, marketed as a COVID-19 treatment, isn't safe or effective for treating any disease. Oleandrin, an extract from the toxic oleander plant, is poisonous and shouldn't be taken as a supplement or home remedy.

My list is certainly not an exhaustive one of Myth vs. Fact when it comes to the vaccine for COVID-19. However, my goal is to make you aware that there ARE reliable sources and reasons to get the vaccine and, after reading this list, convince you to “Raise your sleeve against COVID-19.”  

Please vet any information you receive from family, friends, the internet, TV, and radio. Your primary source of information should always be your primary care provider.  

Here is a link to assist you:  Finding credible vaccine information.   

References

Journal of Biomedical Science

Understanding mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines

What is a cell?

Vaccines and Immunizations

Coronavirus vaccine development: from SARS and MERS to COVID-19

I have 29 years of experience in nursing, which includes L&D, NICU, Oncology, Med-Surg, Hospice, Leadership, Management, Quality, Pharmaceuticals, and currently health content writing.

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5 Comment(s)

This is not about information.

Many of the most vocal critics are themselves vaccinated, and have always supported mandatory vaccines.  They don't want their kids getting measles.

Plenty of those supporting this part of the culture war are well informed, and have enough critical thinking skills to both understand the issues, and manipulate them for gain.

 

Goldie

Has 29 years experience.

Nicely done!  You hit many of the points that I see and hear. 

Snatchedwig, ADN, CNA, LPN, RN

Specializes in Medsurg. Has 13 years experience.

People also say they won't take it because something about aborted fetuses.

 

macawake, MSN

Has 13 years experience.

On 10/8/2021 at 2:03 PM, Kilbourn Word Slinger said:

MYTH: There is a 99.6% survival rate with COVID.  

Fact: The survival rate is calculated among those of the same age and sex.  Survival rates constantly change over time.  The current survival rate from COVID-19 is 90%, while the survival rate from influenza is 98-99%, with available data. 


I do appreciate the work you’ve done here. I too am a big proponent of vaccines in general and think that it’s vital that as many eligible individuals as possible get vaccinated against Covid-19. 

But I’m a stickler for accuracy and some of the claims made in your post seem a bit off to me? The above quote sounds as if you’re saying that the Covid mortality rate is about 10%? It’s not. We don’t know the exact infection fatality rate but it is significantly lower than 10%. The case fatality rate in the U.S. is about 1.6% at the moment, and IFR is bound to be lower than that. 

Also, a 1-2% mortality rate for influenza sounds very high. I think you need to double-check your numbers? 

The 0.4% Covid mortality rate (or as OP expressed it; 99.6% survival rate) does in fact not sound like it’s too far from the truth. I don’t know if IFR is 0.4% or 0.7%, but I’m reasonably certain that it’s less than 1%. That is if you look at the average mortality rate for all ages. 

No one should take that to mean that Covid-19 isn’t a serious disease capable of causing a lot of suffering and death. I’m not trivializing its impact by saying the mortality rate is less than 1%. 

With widespread transmission in what was a 100% naive population at the beginning of the pandemic, it wreacked havoc on the world’s economy, overwhelmed healthcare systems, and has left millions dead and many more grieving the loved ones they’ve lost. Even a year and a half later, Covid is still killing many thousands every day, many of them in countries who’ve yet not had the chance to vaccinate and who have very frail healhcare systems and lack necessary medical supplies. 

Even if the mortality rate isn’t extremely high, when many people get sick at the same time, it’s hard for society to cope. Many who do survive their infections needed long hospital stays. Many struggle with longterm effects. There is no question in my mind that Covid is serious enough, that each and every one of us ought to do what we can to slow this pandemic down. 

 

Quote

MYTH: It will affect my DNA and thus child-bearing.

Fact: With the term mRNA, many feared this would interfere with a personal DNA makeup.  The m stands for messenger, and this is how the vaccine works.  When placed into your arm, there is a download of "instructions" to your immune system.  When the download completes, the instructions are shredded.  Your immune system develops a spike. The body sees this spike and goes to work, increasing immunity against further spikes for protection.  


The vaccine never enters our cells where we find our DNA. 

Which one of your references explain the mRNA vaccines mechanism of action this way? 

The mRNA vaccines do enter the cell. They enter the cytoplasm. But it is accurate that they never enter the cell’s nucleus (which is where the DNA resides). That’s why mRNA vaccines cannot alter a person’s DNA. (If we’re being accurate, the fact that the mRNA in the vaccines never enter the cell’s nucleus is just ONE of the reasons that it’s impossible for them to alter our DNA. The vaccines also lack enzymes (reverse transcriptase, integrase) required to do that, even if they could get into the nucleus. Which they can’t). 

In the cytoplasm, the vaccine mRNA is translated/read by ribosomes and the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is created. Following translation, the vaccine mRNA is rapidly degraded by enzymes. When the newly created spike proteins are shown on the cell’s surface, our immune systems get to work. 

You’re correct that the vaccines can’t change our DNA and there is no evidence that suggests, nor any plausible mechanism of action that we know of, that could affect fertility in any way. But there has been a lot of disinformation spread regarding the vaccines, trying to scare people with unsubstantiated claims. 

 


https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccines-myth-versus-fact

 


https://www.idsociety.org/covid-19-real-time-learning-network/vaccines/vaccines-information--faq/

 

Myth: swollen testicles---I had to do it😂