Many myths about the COVID-19 vaccines are being circulated, and there seem to be more questions than answers. We've put together these myth busters to help dispel those untruths and answer lingering questions.
Myth: I had COVID-19 so I don’t need the vaccine.
There are severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and re-infection is possible. The vaccine offers additional benefit and the CDC recommends that you get the vaccine even if you have had a COVID-19 infection.
Myth: I have a high COVID-19 antibody count. I don’t need the vaccine.
At this time, experts do not known how long natural immunity lasts after recovering from COVID-19. The vaccine offers additional benefit and the CDC recommends that you get the vaccine even if you have had a COVID-19 infection.
Myth: I can get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccines do not contain live virus and cannot give you COVID-19.
Myth: I will be protected against COVID-19 after the first dose, and I don’t need a second dose.
It’s important to get the second dose in order to get the most protection the vaccine can offer. You won’t get the full duration of protection from the vaccines until one to two weeks after the second dose.
Myth: The vaccine isn’t safe.
COVID-19 vaccines were tested in large clinical trials with a diverse group of individuals to make sure they meet safety standards. There were no significant safety concerns identified. We will not administer a COVID-19 vaccine unless the FDA has determined it is safe and effective.
Myth: I have allergies, I shouldn’t get the vaccine.
People with severe allergies who have experienced anaphylaxis in the past or allergic reactions to vaccines should talk to their primary care doctor about whether they should get the COVID-19 vaccine. If you had a severe reaction (anaphylaxis) to the first dose, the second dose is not recommended.
Myth: A COVID-19 vaccine will alter my DNA.
No. mRNA vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease. mRNA does not enter a cell’s nucleus, where DNA is stored. Once mRNA generates an immune response, it degrades quickly and is gone.Scientists have been studying mRNA vaccines for years. Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work.
Myth: I got the vaccine so I don’t have to wear a mask.
While the vaccine will offer protection to the vaccinated person, you can still spread the virus to others. It is important to continue to wear a mask, wash your hands often, and stay at least 6 feet away from others.
Myth: The vaccine was rushed.
Years of science and innovation have paved the way for this vaccine to be delivered quickly. Two reasons the vaccines were developed quickly are because mRNA vaccines can be produced faster than other vaccines, and researchers used existing clinical trial networks to begin conducting COVID-19 vaccine trials as soon as possible.
Myth: I’m young and low-risk and I don’t need to get the vaccine.
It is possible to contract and infect others with COVID-19 even if you don’t experience any symptoms of the virus. It’s important to get the vaccine so that you don’t unknowingly infect a vulnerable person around you.
Myth: I’m planning to get pregnant, and pregnant women shouldn’t get the vaccine.
Vaccinating against COVID-19 is important as pregnant women are at increased risk for severe illness if they are infected with COVID-19. Talk to your doctor about what's right for you.
Myth: I can build up my own immunity.
Experts do not know how long immunity lasts after infection. It’s important to get the vaccine so that you don’t get COVID-19 and unknowingly infect a vulnerable person around you.
While the vaccine will offer protection to the vaccinated person, you can still spread the virus to others. Now and after you receive the COVID-19 vaccine, it is as important as ever to continue to follow CDC guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19: wash your hands frequently, always wear a face covering in public, and maintain physical distancing.