If you have some anxieties about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, you're not alone. However, there are some common myths that can be debunked with facts. If you still have reservations about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, here are the answers to frequently asked questions, based on factual, scientific resources.
Frequently asked questions to calm your nerves about getting the COVID-19 vaccine
1. It seems like the vaccine production was rushed, how can that be safe?
The fact is that scientists had already been working on vaccine strategies for viruses just like coronavirus for several years prior to the appearance of COVID-19. In addition, the companies that produced the mRNA COVID vaccines have been studying mRNA technology for over a decade. However, the speed occurred because a global pandemic struck and governments rapidly funded vaccine trials and then put large amounts of money into manufacturing vaccines at a rapid rate. NO steps were skipped in the vaccine trials.
2. Does the vaccine change my DNA?
No. The mRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19. They do not affect or interact with our DNA in any way.
mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA (genetic material) is kept.
The cell breaks down and gets rid of the mRNA soon after it is finished using the instructions.
3. I’d rather wait to see how others do first…
Hundreds of thousands of people were immunized through all the vaccine trials across the world. If there had been any serious side effects or safety concerns, the vaccines would not have been approved. Over 12 million people in the U.S. have been vaccinated since the release of the vaccine in December 2020. This includes several million individuals over the age of 65 who have been safely vaccinated. To date, there have been approximately 13 serious allergic reactions among the more than 30 million people vaccinated worldwide.
4. Was the vaccine tested on people of diverse ethnic backgrounds? Was everyone in the vaccine trials healthy? How do I know it’s safe for me?
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccine trial participants included Hispanic, Black and Asian volunteers. Both vaccine trials had 20-25% of participants over age 65, and 30-35% of patients were obese. 5-10% of participants had diabetes, COPD or heart disease.
5. Is it safe to get a vaccine while pregnant or if I want to have a baby one day?
If you are pregnant, it is recommended that you talk with your medical provider before deciding to get the vaccine.
6. Will we get to stop wearing masks after vaccination?
The vaccines are 94-95% effective after getting both doses. However, we will need to keep wearing masks until enough people get vaccinated to protect the bigger population. While the vaccine will protect you against infection, it is still unknown yet if vaccinated people can spread the virus to others.
7. If I was diagnosed with COVID-19, should I still get the vaccine? If so, when?
If you have had COVID-19, you can get the vaccine at least 30 days after diagnosis. You could possibly wait up to 90 days after the COVID-19 illness before getting the vaccine, but waiting 30 days is the minimum.
8. Can I contract COVID-19 after getting my first dose of the vaccine?
Yes, you can contract the COVID-19 illness, but not from the vaccine itself. This is why it's still important to continue to wash your hands, wear your face mask and practice social distancing. You only obtain partial immune protection after the first COVID-19 vaccine and thus are still able to contract the COVID-19 illness.
9. If I contract COVID-19 after receiving my first vaccine shot should I delay getting the second shot?
If you contract COVID-19 after your first dose of the vaccine, you can receive your second dose as scheduled, or as soon as your quarantine is complete.
10. I am allergic to many medications- should I get the vaccine?
Even if you have a history of anaphylaxis, it is okay to get the COVID-19 vaccine. You will be monitored for 30 minutes (instead of the standard 15 minute monitoring period) after receiving your COVID-19 vaccine. If you have a history of anaphylaxis to a vaccine, please consult your physician before getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Want more FAQ's? Visit our article on what you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine distribution, click here.
FDA Briefing Documents, Moderna Covid 19 Vaccine, 12/17/20
FDA Briefing Documents, Pfizer-BioNTech Covid 19 Vaccine, 12/10/20
“The Race to Save the World,” Walter Iaacson, Time Magazine, 1//18/21