Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines

Published: February 15, 2021
Samantha Lewiston
By Samantha Lewiston, Pharm.D. Candidate 2021

As vaccine supply increases and more people are eligible for vaccination, many people have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices currently recommends COVID-19 vaccination for all eligible people.

Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine will make me sick with COVID-19.
Fact: COVID-19 vaccines do not contain the live COVID-19 virus, so they cannot make you sick with COVID-19. Similar to other vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune system how to develop protection against a disease. As our immune system develops this protection, it is normal to have symptoms such as a fever, but this is not the virus making you sick with COVID-19.

Myth: I had COVID-19, so I am already protected and don’t need the vaccine.
Fact: You should receive the COVID-19 vaccine regardless of if you have had COVID-19 or not. It is still unknown how long and to what extent you are protected after recovering from COVID-19. It is possible to be infected with the virus again.

Myth: COVID-19 vaccines will change my DNA.
Fact: COVID-19 vaccines do not interact with your DNA. In fact, the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines never enter the place in our cells where our DNA is stored. Our immune cells use instructions from the mRNA vaccines to create protection from the COVID-19 virus. Once our cells are done with these instructions, your body breaks down and gets rid of the mRNA.

Myth: COVID-19 vaccines will affect my ability to have children.
Fact: COVID-19 vaccines do not affect fertility. There is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines. Additionally, there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines cause any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta.

Summary
For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, ask your pharmacist or other healthcare provider, or visit the CDC’s vaccine website

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