Updated: 6 days ago
There are many myths and misunderstandings surrounding the use of messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccines to stop the spread of SARS-Cov-2 circulating on the web. These misconceptions disproportionately hurt the Black community, which translates into Black Americans having the lowest rate of vaccination of any demographic nationwide, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control. SisterLove, Inc is committed to stopping the spread of COVID-19 in our community, and in the spirit of that work, we are addressing some of the common misperceptions that drive the skepticism and hesitancy to take the vaccine.
MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccine enters your cells and changes your DNA. FACT: The COVID-19 vaccines available to us are designed to help your body’s immune system fight the Coronavirus. The messenger RNA from two of the first types of COVID-19 vaccines does enter cells, but not the nucleus of the cells where DNA resides. The mRNA does its job to cause the cell to make protein to stimulate the immune system, and then it quickly breaks down — without affecting your DNA.
MYTH: The messenger RNA(mRNA) technology used to make the COVID-19 vaccine is brand new. FACT: The mRNA technology behind the new coronavirus vaccines has been in development for almost two decades. Vaccine makers created the technology to help them respond quickly to a new pandemic illness, such as COVID-19.
MYTH: Getting the COVID-19 vaccine gives you COVID-19.
FACT: The vaccine for COVID-19 cannot and will not give you COVID-19. The two authorized mRNA vaccines instruct your cells to reproduce a protein that is part of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which helps your body recognize and fight the virus, if it comes along. The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain the SARS-Co-2 virus, so you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The protein that helps your immune system recognize and fight the virus does not cause infection of any sort.
MYTH: Researchers rushed the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, so its effectiveness and safety cannot be trusted. FACT: Studies found that the two initial vaccines are both about 95% effective — and reported no serious or life-threatening side effects. There are many reasons why the COVID-19 vaccines could be developed so quickly. Here are just a few:
The COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna were created with a method that has been in development for years, so the companies could start the vaccine development process early in the pandemic. China isolated and shared genetic information about COVID-19 promptly, so scientists could start working on vaccines.
The vaccine developers didn’t skip any testing steps, but conducted some of the steps on an overlapping schedule to gather data faster. Vaccine projects had plenty of resources, as governments invested in research and/or paid for vaccines in advance.
Some types of COVID-19 vaccines were created using messenger RNA (mRNA), which allows a faster approach than the traditional way that vaccines are made. Social media helped companies find and engage study volunteers, and many were willing to help with COVID-19 vaccine research.
Because COVID-19 is so contagious and widespread, it did not take long to see if the vaccine worked for the study volunteers who were vaccinated. Companies began making vaccines early in the process — even before FDA authorization — so some supplies were ready when authorization occurred.
MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccine can affect women’s fertility.
FACT: The COVID-19 vaccine will not affect fertility. The truth is that the COVID-19 vaccine encourages the body to create copies of the spike protein found on the coronavirus’s surface. This “teaches” the body’s immune system to fight the virus that has that specific spike protein on it.
Confusion arose when a false report surfaced on social media, saying that the spike protein on this coronavirus was the same as another spike protein called syncitin-1 that is involved in the growth and attachment of the placenta during pregnancy. The false report said that getting the COVID-19 vaccine would cause a woman’s body to fight this different spike protein and affect her fertility. The two spike proteins are completely different and distinct, and getting the COVID-19 vaccine will not affect the fertility of women who are seeking to become pregnant, including through in vitro fertilization methods. During the Pfizer vaccine tests, 23 women volunteers involved in the study became pregnant, and the only one who suffered a pregnancy loss had not received the actual vaccine, but a placebo.
Getting COVID-19, on the other hand, can have potentially serious impact on pregnancy and the mother’s health. Learn more about coronavirus and pregnancy. Johns Hopkins Medicine encourages women to reach out to their medical providers to discuss other questions they have about COVID-19 as it relates to fertility or pregnancy. -------
Be sure to register for our Community Healthy Vaccination Drive, Friday 04/30 at 11a-5p. Click the link below to register and get more info http://sisterlovevax.coreresponse.org Download our vaccine myth infographic below and share with friends and family on social media. Be sure to tag @sisterloveinc and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! SOURCE: Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine