The United States crossed over the horrible threshold of four hundred thousand deaths due to the coronavirus early last week, and currently, there are over two million deaths reported worldwide. What is more, is that they are variations with transmutations that could make COVID-19 way more contagious and potentially deadlier. However, there is also promising news, with two vaccines that have been approved for emergency use thus far by the United States Food and Drug Administration that are considered quite effective and safe. There is approximately sixty-six percent of the United States population that have said that they are willing to be vaccinated, unfortunately, the demand currently outweighs the supply. However, thirty percent of Americans state that they will not get vaccinated. For those that are hesitant to take the vaccine, there are some common myths that are associated with it.
Myth: Receiving The Vaccine Will Give You Coronavirus
This is a common myth not just with the coronavirus vaccine, but with other vaccines as well, like the one for the flu. Quite often you will hear someone say that they do not want the flu vaccine because it will give them the flu. However, this is not true for the flu, neither is it true for the coronavirus. If persons are concerned about this, it can be noted that none of the vaccines that are being tested in the United States contain the novel coronavirus. Therefore, it is impossible to contract the virus from the vaccine.
Myth: The Vaccine Will Affect Their Genetic Code
This is focused more on the mRNA platform that the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines are based on. It is helpful to know that mRNA technology is a term for messenger RNA technology, which is a section of the genetic code that imparts knowledge into cells of how to produce a particular protein. This protein that is manufactured by the mRNA then triggers an immune system response, instilling in the body how to react to the coronavirus it ever comes into contact with it. An important note here is that mRNA does not enter the nucleus of the cells, which means that it cannot interact with the genes as that is where the DNA is located, so it will not change the DNA code of anyone.
Myth: mRNA Technology Is Too New And Was Developed Too Fast
Two points to note here are, firstly, the mRNA technology is not new, but has been in the development stage for in excess of a decade. Secondly, it is vital that persons understand that no shortcuts were taken in the process of scientific research or approval. It is agreed that in record time, vaccines were developed by scientists, however, the reason for this is that the entire scientific world was at works trying to solve this problem. Also, they did not have to start at the beginning, because of the SARS and MERS outbreaks, much work had already gone into developing a vaccine. It was reported that each stage of the clinical research was followed similarly to any other vaccine, plus thousands of volunteers were selected for the clinical trials, while external independent committees of scientists scrutinized the data and there were no cutbacks in the authorization process.
Myth: The Vaccines Provoke Allergic Reactions And Are Not Safe
There have been reports of allergic reactions to the vaccines, however, allergic responses could occur in any medical product and are treated every day in hospitals around the world. Currently, there is no concrete reason why these uncommon allergic responses occur. This is why it is recommended that everyone receiving the COVID-19 vaccines remain after receiving the injection for observation for about fifteen minutes. Plus, if there is a history of serious allergic reactions, persons could be required to remain for a bit longer, any severe allergic responses that take place will be immediately treated with an EpiPen. The isolated possibility of having an uncommon allergic response is not in any way a reason not to receive the vaccine as the advantages of taking the vaccine far outweigh the uncommon yet treatable allergic reactions.
Myth: No One Knows How Long The Vaccine Provides Immunity
This is true for the most part; no one actually knows how long the immunity will stay in the body. However, studies so far suggest it should remain in the body for several months, however, there is no way of knowing if the vaccine’s immune protection diminishes over time. It is also quite possible that enough mutations may form that require new vaccines to be developed, resulting in persons that already had the vaccine needing booster shots, such as with tetanus shots. It could also mean that the coronavirus vaccination becomes an annual shot, similar to the vaccination for the flu. Just because you may need to take the vaccine again at some point in time does not mean that you should not take it the first time.
Myth: Only The Elderly Or Those With Underlying Medical Conditions Need The Vaccine
Currently, as there is not enough to go around, the vaccine should be prioritized for those that require it the most, but eventually, when there is an adequate supply, everyone should be vaccinated. The reason for this is that although young and healthy, they could contract the virus and become ill, it is rare, but it does happen. Secondly, the closer the population gets to herd immunity by vaccination, the faster everyone could return to some form of pre-pandemic normalcy. For this to be a possibility, everyone, not just the elderly and most vulnerable, need to be vaccinated.