Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines

Unraveling most common myths about COVID-19 vaccines

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Nurse holding disposable vaccine syringe
UNICEF/UNI77059/Holmes
03 August 2022

Accurate vaccine information is critical and can help stop common myths and rumors. But sometimes it can be difficult to know which sources of information you can trust. Below are myths and facts about COVID-19 vaccination which can help clarify things.

More about COVID-19 vaccines.

MYTH: The ingredients in COVID-19 vaccines are dangerous.

FACT: Nearly all the ingredients in COVID-19 vaccines are also ingredients in many foods – fats, sugars, and salts.

Exact vaccine ingredients vary by manufacturer. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines also contain messenger RNA (mRNA) and the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine contains a harmless version of a virus unrelated to the virus that causes COVID-19. The Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine uses inactivated pathogens that causes COVID-19 therefore they cannot infect cells and replicate but can trigger an immune response. The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine includes harmless pieces (proteins) of the virus that causes COVID-19; they are pieces of what is often called the “spike protein.” These give instructions to cells in your body to create an immune response. This response helps protect you from getting sick with COVID-19 in the future. After the body produces an immune response, it discards all the vaccine ingredients just as it would discard any information that cells no longer need. This process is a part of normal body functioning.

MYTH: The natural immunity I get from being sick with COVID-19 is better than the immunity I get from COVID-19 vaccination.

FACT: Getting a COVID-19 vaccination is a safer and more dependable way to build immunity to COVID-19 than getting sick with COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccination causes a more predictable immune response than infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine gives most people a high level of protection against COVID-19 and can provide added protection for people who already had COVID-19. One study showed that, for people who already had COVID-19, those who do not get vaccinated after their recovery are more than 2 times as likely to get COVID-19 again than those who get fully vaccinated after their recovery.

All available vaccines against COVID-19 in Armenia prevent from severe cases, complications, and death. Getting sick with COVID-19 can offer some protection from future illness, sometimes called “natural immunity,” but the level of protection people get from having COVID-19 may vary depending on how mild or severe their illness was, the time since their infection, and their age.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccination is also a safer way to build protection than getting sick with COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without you having to experience sickness. Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Getting sick with COVID-19 can cause severe illness or death, and we can’t reliably predict who will have mild or severe illness. If you get sick, you can spread COVID-19 to others. You can also continue to have long-term health issues after COVID-19

MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines cause variants.

FACT: COVID-19 vaccines do not create or cause variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. Instead, COVID-19 vaccines can help prevent new variants from emerging.

New variants of a virus happen because the virus that causes COVID-19 constantly changes through a natural ongoing process of mutation (change). As the virus spreads, it has more opportunities to change. High vaccination coverage in a population reduces the spread of the virus and helps prevent new variants from emerging․

MYTH: All adverse events reported are caused by vaccination.

FACT: Adverse events can be reported even if it is not clear whether a vaccine caused the problem. Because of this, report data alone cannot determine if the reported adverse event was caused by a COVID-19 vaccination.

Some reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable. Vaccine safety experts study these adverse events and look for unusually high numbers of health problems, or a pattern of problems, after people receive a particular vaccine. Reports of adverse events following vaccination, including deaths, do not necessarily mean that a vaccine caused a health problem.

>> The severe adverse events that may happen after vaccination.

MYTH: The mRNA vaccine is not considered a vaccine.

FACT: mRNA vaccines, such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, work differently than other types of vaccines, but they still trigger an immune response inside your body.

This type of vaccine is new, but research and development on it has been underway for decades.

The mRNA vaccines do not contain any live virus. Instead, they work by teaching our cells to make a harmless piece of a “spike protein,” which is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.

After making the protein piece, cells display it on their surface. Our immune system then recognizes that it does not belong there and responds to get rid of it. When an immune response begins, antibodies are produced, creating the same response that happens in a natural infection.

In contrast to mRNA vaccines, many other vaccines use a piece of, or weakened version of, the germ that the vaccine protects against. This is how the measles and flu vaccines work. When a weakened or small part of the virus is introduced to your body, you make antibodies to help protect against future infection.

>>The differences among COVID-19 vaccines.

 

MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips.

FACT: COVID-19 vaccines do not contain microchips. Vaccines are developed to fight against disease and are not administered to track your movement.

Vaccines work by stimulating your immune system to produce antibodies, exactly like it would if you were exposed to the disease. After getting vaccinated, you develop immunity to that disease, without having to get the disease first.

MYTH: Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine can make you magnetic.

FACT: Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will not make you magnetic, including at the site of vaccination which is usually your arm.

COVID-19 vaccines do not contain ingredients that can produce an electromagnetic field at the site of your injection.

MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines can alter my DNA.

FACT: COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.

Both messenger RNA (mRNA) and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines work by delivering instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.

After the body produces an immune response, it discards all the vaccine ingredients just as it would discard any information that cells no longer need. This process is a part of normal body functioning.

The genetic material delivered by mRNA vaccines never enters the nucleus of your cells, which is where your DNA is kept. Viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver genetic material to the cell nucleus to allow our cells to build protection against COVID-19. However, the vector virus does not have the machinery needed to integrate its genetic material into our DNA, so it cannot alter our DNA.