As with any new technology, the COVID-19 vaccine has been the target of misinformation. We’re debunking some of the common myths surrounding the vaccine.
Myth 1: The vaccine was rushed so it can’t be safe.
The COVID-19 vaccines are new but the technology used to make these vaccines is not new. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which have been granted Emergency Use authorized by the FDA, are both mRNA vaccines. Years before the pandemic broke out, this technology was studied and these vaccines are only available now so quickly because of that research.
Both vaccines were also thoroughly studied and reviewed before they were granted approval by the FDA. Around 40,000 participants took part in the Pfizer trial and around 30,000 participants took part in the Moderna trial. These two vaccines have been given to millions in the U.S. alone already. A third vaccine by Johnson & Johnson has also been approved for emergency use by the FDA. All three vaccines are considered to be safe.
Myth 2: The vaccine will impact fertility.
There is absolutely no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine will impact fertility. Safety data from the FDA for the Pfizer vaccine trial found no difference in the number of people who got pregnant in the vaccine group as the placebo group. Among the people who did get pregnant in the study, there were no self-reported pregnancy-related adverse events reported.
In addition, the CDC states women who are trying to become pregnant may receive the vaccine.
Learn more about pregnancy and the vaccine.
Myth 3: The vaccine will cause serious side effects including anaphylaxis.
Serious side effects from the vaccine are uncommon. Anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction, is the most serious possible side effect. But that only happens once in approximately 100,000 shots. By comparison, those reactions are more common in bee stings, fire ant stings, nuts and a host of antibiotics.
Myth 4: The vaccine causes Bell’s Palsy.
There have been some reports of cases of Bell’s Palsy, a condition that causes weakness or paralysis in the face. The FDA has not concluded these cases were caused by the vaccine. So anyone who has had Bell’s Palsy in the past may still get the vaccine.
Myth 5: The shot is unsafe for people who have had Guillain-Barre.
Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare disorder that can cause nerve damage. This can happen after an infection from a virus or bacteria. According to the CDC, no cases of Guillain-Barre have been reported after the COVID-19 vaccine.
Myth 6: The vaccine was developed using fetal tissue.
Fetal tissue was not used at any time in the development or production of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
Myth 7: Once I get the vaccine I can go travel again.
Even if you get the vaccine, you still need to take the proper precautions to protect yourself and others, including wearing a mask and avoiding crowds. While it is safer for fully vaccinated people to travel, there are still some risks associated with it, especially when traveling internationally where there are new variants.
Myth 8: The vaccine will implant a microchip in me.
One conspiracy theory that has circulated online is that the vaccine will implant a microchip in you. This is completely untrue. In addition, the vaccine cannot alter your genes or DNA.