With 10.9 billion vaccinations across the globe – Around 245 million Americans have successfully gotten vaccinated, with intense deliberation. While there are a number of people who accepted their responsibility as American citizens to get vaccinated, as soon as the vaccines came out, there are still plenty of others who have failed to comply.
Known commonly as anti-vaxxers to the general public, many American citizens found it hard to believe in an injectable substance that’s being marketed as the ultimate protection against COVID-19. False information, myths, and rumors began circulating on social media through messaging apps, forums, and shared dialogues.
After a year of successful vaccine shots, you would think that the number of people who raised ‘concerns’ regarding the authenticity and safety of the vaccine might have decreased. While awareness about the COVID-19 vaccine is still being disseminated aptly, many healthcare workers became intrigued and thought of addressing this issue firsthand.
Myth 1: How can we trust the vaccines when they were developed within a year’s time?
Fact Check – We are under a deadly pandemic. Scientists had preliminary data about past coronaviruses and used their resources to develop a vaccine as soon as possible.
The first COVID-19 infection was diagnosed in Wuhan back in December 2019 which started spreading its contagious wings across the globe. By March 2020, the entire world became engulfed in the wave of the virus, leading to significant morbidity and mortality. It soon became apparent that the pandemic is perhaps here to stay – and herd immunity might not be the only objective to delay the development of the vaccines.
With a huge workforce at play, researchers and scientists joined hands and resources to develop a COVID-19 vaccine urgently. The mumps vaccine of the MMR (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) shot was developed within 4 years – the fastest to ever develop. However, this achievement was dethroned by the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer which was released in December 2020.
COVID-19 is just another coronavirus that came under the umbrella of viruses causing Severe Acute Respiratory Distress (SARS) Syndrome. Coronaviruses have been the cause of SARS for plenty of years and thus, a lot of preliminary data was already available for recollection and analysis. The vaccines by Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J were brought to light after assessing their quality and side effects on thousands of willing individuals.
Myth 2: The vaccines will break down my DNA or induce hereditary diseases.
Fact Check: The vaccine NEVER enters the nucleus of the cell where the genetic material is stored.
Known commonly as the building blocks of the body, a cell basically comprises smaller structures called organelles which perform various functions within the cell. Every cell has its own nucleus (with the exception of red blood cells) that contains the genetic material or DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). The information stored in the ‘genes’ of DNA is passed from generation to generation. Any mutation in the parent DNA will cause a hereditary mutation that will be inherited by consequent offspring.
Neither of the vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson comes into play with a human being’s DNA. Most COVID-19 vaccines, though, contain an inactivated part of the virus (J & J), known as the ‘spike protein’ which elicits an immune response in the body. This serves as a memory so that the actual infection can be prevented when COVID-19 comes into play with the immune system.
Myth 3 – I don’t need the vaccination as I had already been infected previously
Fact Check – Natural immunity does account for defense against the virus, but there is no data as to for how long it remains effective. Your previous infection might give you some immunity, but vaccines carry a stronger defense that is not only known but noticeable.
According to the CDC, unvaccinated individuals were at a greater risk of being infected with the virus, irrespective of the status of previous COVID-19 infections. Plus, the elderly are more vulnerable to developing the infection due to their lessened immunity and the body’s healing properties. The CDC has urged older adults to get vaccinated in due time.
Myth 4 – No need to wear a mask or keep track of SOPs if vaccinated.
Fact Check – The vaccines help to prevent individuals from the morbid and fatal impacts of the virus, and thus, cause the COVID-19 variants to exit without creating significant stress in the body.
We all understand how repulsive facial masks have been, especially in grave humidity. Many vaccinated people thought of ditching their masks in order to reap the immune protection offered by the vaccine in their bodies. Despite chalking up significant immunity against the virus, it is definitely possible for you to adhere to a milder version of the infection and as well as serve as a vector so that the contagion spreads further.
The Final Verdict
Except for a majority of healthcare workers, a vast number of individuals had doubts related to the virus. It is completely natural to question the safety, risks, and side effects of any vaccine or drug, but the CDC and FDA have made it quite simple for the general public to understand the necessity of vaccinations with their awareness campaigns.
However, it is not wise to shun the idea completely, as you are not only taking the plunge, but also leading your friends, family, and coworkers down the rabbit hole. If you or your loved one has not been vaccinated or received their booster shot, book an appointment with Manhattan Medical Arts today. For those who have received a single shot or had to reschedule due to illnesses, we recommend booking a consultation with our experts at MMA today. It might not be too late to get your COVID-19 vaccines, as the CDC suggests that two shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine are better than one. As compared to 80% protection with only one banal shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, the CDC suggests getting both doses to acquire 94% immunity against the virus.
For any confusion and resentment against the vaccine, feel free to consult our primary care physician before making a decision that can harm you or your family.
– Disclaimer –
This blog is for informational & educational purposes only, and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.
About The AuthorDr. Syra Hanif M.D.
Board Certified Primary Care Physician
Dr. Syra Hanif is a board-certified Primary Care Physician (PCP) dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered healthcare.Read More