The COVID-19 vaccine was developed to provide immunity against the virus causing COVID-19. Experts say that the vaccine is the only hope for a return to normal life. There have been 1.3 billion doses of the vaccine administered worldwide so far. However, only a small fraction of people in African countries have taken the shot. Some African countries have even openly rejected the vaccine. A recent report showed that Africa accounts for only 2% of the global doses administered and nearly 20% of Africans said they would not take the vaccine.
There has been an aura of mystery surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine which has led to a lot of misinformation. Many are concerned about the long-term health effects of the vaccine. This is due to rumours circulating that it may cause serious health issues. It’s critical to have the right information about the vaccine in order to stop such rumours. Here are some myths about the COVID-19 vaccine you shouldn’t believe.
- You don’t need the vaccine if you’re young and healthy
Yes, young and healthy people were said to be at a lower risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19 (but things have also changed with the new varients). This is why those at high risk such as elderly people, have priority to get the vaccine at the moment. However, most young and healthy people are asymptomatic which can be a problem in itself. Once there’s enough vaccine supply, it’s necessary for everyone to get the jab in order to slow down and even stop the spread of the virus.
- The vaccine was rushed so it’s not safe
Many were sceptical about the vaccine because the development took a few months only. The developers carried out extensive research and tests to ensure that the vaccine had no serious side effects. The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were created with a method that has been in development for years. Additionally, China isolated and shared genetic information about COVID-19 promptly. This led to faster development of the vaccine compared to other vaccines that take decades.
- You’ll become infertile if you take the vaccine
People are also worried the antibodies the vaccine creates could attack syncytin-1, mistaking it for COVID, and harm the placenta’s ability to support pregnancies. This misconception has been dismissed by medical practitioners. They support pregnant women or women who want to have children in the future getting the vaccine.
- You don’t need the vaccine if you already had COVID-19
Getting COVID-19 doesn’t make you immune to the virus. This is evident due to reports of re-infection after recovery from COVID-19. Therefore, whether you’ve had the virus or not, you should get the jab. It’s recommended that a recovering patient should get the vaccine 90 days after being infected. If you’re not sure whether it’s safe for you to receive the vaccine, you can consult a doctor.
- You can’t get the vaccine if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
One of the most common rumours is that the COVID-19 vaccine causes miscarriages and can affect breastfeeding babies. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you’re breastfeeding, you can still get the vaccine. In fact, your baby could build resistance to the virus from the vaccine’s antibodies in the breast milk. Additionally, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, pregnant women are at a higher risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19 so it’s necessary to get the vaccine.
- The virus mutates so fast that the vaccine won’t work
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, there have been several different strains reported around the world. This includes the U.K strain, the Brazil strain, the Indian strain and the South Africa strain. Despite the mutation, experts found that their vaccines are still effective against the different strains. There were reports that the vaccines were less effective against the mutation found in South Africa but there was no evidence that it affected the benefits of the vaccine entirely. As more variants come up more and more research is being done on the booster shots so eventually this will be tackled as well.
- You don’t need to wear a mask or social distance after getting vaccinated
Though the vaccine might prevent you from getting the virus or becoming seriously ill from it, it’s still important to take precautions to avoid transmitting it to others. It’s still unknown whether the vaccine prevents the spread of the virus. Therefore, even after getting the shot, you should still social distance and wear a mask. This also reduces your chances of infection since you can still get sick even after getting vaccinated.
- The pandemic will be over after getting the vaccine
The COVID-19 vaccine does help control the spread of the disease and reduce its catastrophic effects. However, it’s going to take some time before we return to normal life. The number of cases needs to drop to levels that experts consider non-threatening which might take a few years. Additionally, the vaccine is being distributed in phases and might not be widely available to the general public until later in the year.
There is still a lot to be learnt about Covid 19. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe by getting vaccinated. Read more on Health Vaccines: Why Immunization Is Important For Both Adults And Children