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:
Residual cell culture materials
Residual inactivating ingredients
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.
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