When it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, there seems to be some fear and confusion about the safety of it. To separate facts versus myths, we reached out to Dr. Donnie Aga, the medical director for Healthcare Innovation at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, to lay out the facts when it comes to some common vaccine myths.
I’ve already had COVID-19. I don’t need the vaccine.
The CDC has recommended that people who have had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated. The immunity one gets from a previous infection is somewhat protective up to 90 days. Getting vaccinated can add additional longer term protection from getting sick again.
The COVID-19 vaccine is not safe.
The COVID-19 vaccine in trials and real life use has proven to be very safe. Mild to moderate side effects to the vaccine are common but any serious adverse effects are rare.
I will test positive for COVID-19 after getting the vaccine.
The vaccine does not cause a positive test for COVID-19.
If I get the COVID-19 vaccine, I don’t need to wear a mask or social distance.
Until enough of the population gets vaccinated, you are still recommended to wear a mask when in public. The vaccines are at best 95% protective of getting sick so spreading a mild infection to someone not vaccinated is still possible.
You can get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
The vaccine is not a live virus vaccine but only stimulates your immune system to respond to the virus. It is not possible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
I’m not in a high-risk category so I don’t need the COVID-19 vaccine.
Eventually in order to control the pandemic we want everyone to be vaccinated. When it’s your turn to take a vaccine we recommend getting it.
The COVID-19 vaccine can alter your DNA.
The COVID-19 vaccine does not alter your DNA in any way. It only stimulates your immune system to the spike protein of the COVID-19 virus.
I plan on getting pregnant so I shouldn’t take the COVID-19 vaccine.
Pregnant patients should have a conversation with their OB doctor about the pros and cons of getting vaccinated. There is not a lot of safety data in the vaccine for those who are pregnant so the decision to get vaccinated should be made between you and your doctor.
I got my flu shot. I don’t need the COVID-19 vaccine.
The flu vaccine is very important but does not prevent COVID-19 infection.