It’s been over a year since COVID-19 entered our lives. It was on March 25th, 2020 the first lockdown began and it is now May of 2021. Many lockdowns have come and gone. In this period, people have sought critical care services for themselves and their family members. Now that we have vaccinations in sight, there has been a rise in vaccination hesitancy. In fact, many myths related to the Coronavirus vaccines are being circulated amongst friends and family. These COVID-19 vaccine myths need to be busted if we are to flatten the curve:
Myth 1: COVID-19 Vaccines were rushed. Hence, they cannot be trusted
Developing a vaccine generally takes 3-4 years but because COVID-19 is a viral infection that’s spreading at a rapid rate and it is an unprecedented phenomenon in the current lifetime, many of the procedures that could be bypassed have been bypassed. This was done to quicken the process of vaccination, not rushed. There has been no other time in history when humans have been more equipped to deal with any pandemic. We have the technology and knowledge to develop vaccines in this short time. With all trials and follow-ups in place, COVID-19 vaccines are effective. Different vaccinations have different efficacy and you can choose between those options. Nevertheless, the fact of COVID-19 vaccines is that they have been developed and launched for the public after proper trials.
Myth 2: I Will Contract COVID-19 Even After Being Vaccinated
Vaccines are not a holy grail that once you are jabbed it will prevent you entirely from the infection. Even after being vaccinated, you will be at risk of contracting COVID-19. The difference between before and after vaccination is that you will not develop severe symptoms of the disease. If you manage to contract the coronavirus, the COVID-19 vaccine will fight off against the virus and prevent it from being severe. It greatly reduces the likelihood of you needing any medical help. After the vaccination, you may contract the virus but it will be fought off by the vaccine and you might not even know it.
Myth 3: No One Knows What is in the Vaccine
This is also not true because no person or organisation in India is allowed to manufacture anything without listing all its ingredients on the back label on the packaging. You can pick any strip of medicine or bottle, and you will see the list of all ingredients used to make it. The truth of COVID vaccine is that it says on the packaging of the vials everything that it contains and this is verified by concerned authorities. Since it is not possible for you to hold a vial of a vaccine in your hands and check it out, you can look it up on the internet about what each vaccine contains. You can further read more and precisely know how each vaccine works.
Myth 4: I have already recovered from COVID-19, so I don’t need the vaccine
Many people have been infected the second time by COVID-19. Since it is a new infection and we don’t know all about it, no one can say for sure what the immunity period after recovering from COVID-19 is. One can still be affected by COVID-19 even after they have recovered. The second time the infection can be much more severe than the previous time. It is a safe option to go for a vaccination dose, regardless of whether or not you have had COVID-19 in the past.
Myth 5: Mortality Rate is Low, so I don’t need the vaccine
Yes, it is true that the mortality rate in COVID-19 is between 2 and 3%. It is also true that the majority of the people are recovering from the disease. However, the truth is that no one controls who will end up in the 2-3%. It might be you, it might be someone else. While there’s a 97-98% chance that you and your loved ones will recover from COVID-19, it is not a prudent option to even being at the risk of 2-3%. The COVID vaccine will further lower that risk and prevent the disease from becoming severe in the first place. In other words, it further strengthens your body against the disease.
Myth 6: Vaccine Will make Me Infertile
This is another myth surrounding the vaccine that has no foundation. COVID-19 vaccines do not affect your fertility at all. Similarly, no other vaccine does. It is not even a potential side effect of the disease. Infertility has nothing to do with the COVID-19 vaccines. You can safely go ahead and get a vaccination shot without worrying about being infertile.
Myth 7: The Vaccine Can Have Long-Term Effects
At this stage, people around the world have been given the COVID-19 vaccine. Many in India have had their second dose. Vaccines are designed in a manner that if they have any side effects, it shows within 2-4 weeks after the dose. Since no adverse effect has been noted so far, this also remains only a CoVid-19 vaccine myth. The fact of COVID-19 vaccines in India is that they do not have any side effects. Even the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, has had his second dose. No adverse effects have been reported in any case so far.
Myth 8: Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women Should Avoid Getting the Vaccination
Women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding a child are not prescribed any heavy medication because it can directly affect the child as well. It is the right question to ask whether the COVID vaccination can affect the child as well. But we have had reports of pregnant women who were affected by COVID-19 to pass the infection to their child during childbirth. By not taking the vaccination, you put yourself and your child at risk of infection. If you are a frontline or essential worker you should go ahead with the vaccine. If you are not and are still worried about the COVID-19 infection or vaccine, it is best to consult your doctor.
Myth 9: You Should Not Take Vaccine When You are on your Period
This is one of the most popular myths about COVID-19 vaccines in India that was circulated. It said that the vaccine affects your menstrual cycle. However, there has been no data that backs this claim. Further, the second phase of the vaccination drive started with inoculation of people above 45 years. Women at this age are close to menopause. None of them reported any delay in their menstrual cycle. Now that vaccination in India has entered the third phase everyone above 18 is being vaccinated, no woman has reported a delay in their menstrual cycle due to the vaccine. This, too, remains a myth with no data to back it.
Now that the Government of India has opened the vaccination for everyone above the age of 18, you should book yourself a slot at the earliest. Whether you should go with Covishield or Covaxin is your choice. Both of these COVID-19 vaccines are effective and there’s trial and data to back them. Do not believe anything against the vaccine just because a person says it. Always follow the latest updates from verified sources about the vaccines.
At Emoha, we are empowering our elders in these unprecedented times through remote health monitoring, emergency support, and dedicated care manager to coordinate and ensure COVID support. For us, it is always #EldersFirst