Debunking myths about the Covid-19 vaccine
As Covid-19 vaccines are distributed across the country, several misleading myths and concerns have emerged that medical experts have addressed. We’ve summed up responses to the 3 most common concerns:
- The vaccine is not safe
None of the coronavirus vaccines being tested in the United States contain a live virus, so no one will get Covid-19 from the vaccine. Although it’s often touted as a new method, this technology has been in development for decades. Medical experts agree that no shortcuts were taken in research or the approval process. Vaccine safety was tested in phase 3 trials involving tens of thousands of participants. External committees of scientists vetted the data and produced independent recommendations to support vaccine authorization.
2. Only vulnerable people need the vaccine
Vaccines protect more than the individuals who receive it. The objective is to have enough of the population vaccinated to achieve “herd immunity”. The more people who are immune means fewer people the virus can infect — lowering the infection rate and the risk for everyone. Not getting a vaccine is like not wearing a mask: Your decision affects not just you but everyone around you.
3. There’s no point in getting the vaccine if we still have to wear masks
Experts agree that vaccinated people should keep wearing masks and follow social distancing guidelines. It isn’t yet known whether the vaccine reduces the likelihood of being an asymptomatic carrier — a person who can unknowingly infect others. As vaccination brings us all closer to herd immunity, there will be a point when enough of the population is protected that we can do away with masks. That could happen by the end of 2021. In the meantime, vaccination is a crucial tool.