Beware of Hoaxes Regarding Covid-19 Vaccines

Worldwide COVID-19 vaccination programs have given us hope and a fighting chance to end this ongoing pandemic. However, some people are skeptical of the vaccination program because of some misconceptions about COVID-19 vaccines.
25 August 2021
Covid-19 is still a frightening spectre in the world despite efforts undertaken to overcome this pandemic through the implementation of strict health protocols, and vaccination programs in various countries to break the chain of transmission. Vaccines are considered as one of the most effective measures to contain the ongoing pandemic. Unfortunately, rumours and negative issues regarding the Covid-19 vaccines have been widely spread, causing unrest and hindering the ongoing vaccination program. The vaccines work by presenting antigens that enable the formation of antibodies against the virus. It is important for this program to succeed so as to create and achieve group immunity that would further reduce the number of transmissions. To avoid hoaxes, let’s examine the following misconceptions about the Covid-19 vaccine:

1. The COVID-19 Vaccine is Unsafe Because it Was Only Developed Within a Short Period of Time.
Although scientists have developed and manufactured Covid-19 vaccines faster than other vaccines, this does not reduce the safety of the vaccine itself. The Covid-19 vaccine is a result of the worldwide collaboration of human and financial resources, considering the massive spread of the pandemic to all corners of the world. Scientists have conducted tests simultaneously so that they can create these vaccines in a short time which can then be distributed without compromising safety levels.

2. The COVID-19 Vaccine Has Severe Side Effects
Some of the vaccinated may experience side effects upon receiving the vaccine, such as muscle pain, fever, and dizziness. These are mild reactions and will go away in a few days. But if the side effects are excessive or severe, such as shortness of breath, confusion, or other unusual reactions, they are required to report to a health officer for further monitoring. These severe symptoms, however, are very rare.

3. The COVID-19 Vaccine Changes Human DNA
This information is certainly not true. When injected into the body, the mRNA vaccine will enter the cytoplasm, but it will not enter the nucleus where human DNA is located. This means that the mRNA cannot affect or interact with the DNA in any way. The Covid-19 mRNA vaccine works with the body’s natural defences to safely develop immunity against the disease.

4. The COVID-19 Vaccine Causes infertility
This news is based on the premise that the messenger RNA in vaccines can cause infertility by inadvertently attacking proteins in the placenta since the structure of the spike protein is similar. However, these two are certainly very different structures. Dr. Kate O’Brien from the World Health Organization (WHO) also confirmed that the rumours were false.¹ To date, there is no scientific evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine affects fertility.

5. Become Immune to The Disease After Vaccination
Many people often misinterpret and think that they are immune from the coronavirus after getting vaccinated. They then become negligent of recommended rules and health protocols. Vaccines make our immune system better so that if we are exposed, the symptoms will be decreased, further reducing the severe symptoms that can lead to death. We need to remember, though, that one can still get infected even though they have already been fully vaccinated. Hence, we are still obliged to carry out health protocols, especially by wearing masks and maintaining cleanliness.

6. The COVID-19 Vaccine Can Infect a Person With The Corona Virus
This statement is wrong. Basically, the mRNA vaccine does not contain a live virus and is therefore harmless. It will not infect a vaccinated person. The vaccines work by exposing the body to proteins that are on the surface of the virus, without other viruses present. Therefore, you do not become infected with the virus upon receiving the vaccine. This may also be related to the previous point that people feel immune after being vaccinated so they become complacent to the recommended health protocols.

7. COVID-19 Survivors Do Not Need to Get Vaccinated
The Covid-19 survivor will form and produce antibodies in his system, since his body has already recognized the virus. However, these natural antibodies only last for 3 months, while the antibodies produced from vaccinations can last up to a year. So Covid-19 survivors are still required to carry out complete vaccinations within 3 months of being declared cured of the coronavirus. However, Covid-19 survivors must first get clearance from medical staff prior to their vaccination.

With so much misleading information out in circulation, we must be wise in filtering the information we get. Obtain news from credible sources so as not to cause anxiety. Be involved in the fight against the pandemic by supporting the Covid-19 vaccination program. Stay safe and stay healthy!

¹ Data by https://health.detik.com/berita-detikhealth/d-5473902/beredar-mitos-vaksin-covid-19-bikin-mandul-ini-faktanya
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