More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine

More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine title=
More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine
70 Comments
Reads 10182

By Dr. Henning Ansorg, M.D., FACP, Health Officer County of Santa Barbara, Department of Public Health

One of the most critical steps we can take to re-open our communities is to be vaccinated when it is our turn. Some have expressed fear of getting vaccinated and unfortunately, misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine has contributed to that fear. Here are 10 myths with accurate information to help you feel comfortable getting vaccinated.

Myth #1: COVID-19 vaccines were ‘rushed’ so they could still be unsafe.

While it is true that the COVID-19 vaccine was produced relatively quickly, it, does not mean scientists and researchers skipped critical steps. Rather, drug manufacturers and the government removed many of the bureaucratic inefficiencies that typically slow the process. No corners were cut in the trials and the results were remarkable.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration are continuing to monitor COVID-19 vaccine safety as the vaccines are distributed.

So far, serious vaccine reactions have been occurring at a rate of 4.5 in 1 million doses given. This is very comparable to other vaccines. Of note: none of the severe allergic reactions were deadly and all recovered quickly. No death after receipt of the vaccine could be attributed to the vaccine but only to an expected prognosis in otherwise ill persons.

Myth #2: You can get COVID-19 from the vaccine.

The vaccines that have been approved for use in the United States do NOT contain the live virus that causes COVID-19, which means it is simply not possible to get sick with COVID-19 as a result. Getting a headache, chills or a short-lived fever or feeling fatigued for 1-2 days after getting vaccinated is a normal reaction and a sign that the body’s immune system is getting activated by the vaccine to be able to fight the virus. Short lived soreness at the injection site is also quite common but not dangerous.

Myth #3: Santa Barbara County is receiving fewer vaccines than other counties.

The number of disproportionately impacted communities, settings, and populations may differ among counties, thereby affecting the formula used to determine the State’s allocation of vaccine to the county. Bigger counties also tend to have more large clinic/hospital systems that may get extra allocations of vaccine.

Myth #4: The vaccines can change your DNA.

The approved coronavirus vaccines use messenger RNA, or mRNA. This technology teaches the body’s cells to make a harmless piece of the “spike protein” found on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This triggers an immune response that produces antibodies, protecting against COVID-19 infection. This messenger RNA stays in the outer part of our cell, called the cytoplasm. It doesn’t enter into the nucleus of the cell, so it does not have access to our DNA.

Myth #5: The COVID-19 vaccines can cause infertility.

This claim has absolutely no scientific evidence. It was promulgated by social media platforms of the anti-vaxx movement. It was also a story line in a popular TV series Utopia, however completely fictional.

Getting vaccinated is important for pregnant women and those who are planning to become pregnant in order to protect mom/parents and baby from COVID-19.

Myth #6: You don’t have to get vaccinated if you’ve already had COVID-19.

The CDC says  anyone who has had COVID-19 and recovered (and otherwise qualifies for vaccination) should be offered the vaccine. New mutations of the virus are causing variants that may re-infect persons who had the original virus previously. Also, the vaccine causes a more robust immune response than the actual disease. It is recommended to get vaccinated even if you had COVID-19.

Myth #7: Once you’ve been vaccinated, you can no longer spread the virus.

It’s not yet clear whether the vaccines prevent individuals from spreading the virus to others. That means it’s possible that a fully vaccinated person might be exposed to the coronavirus, become infected without any outward symptoms, and then pass the virus along. Therefore, it is crucial that public health measures like mask-wearing, hand-washing and social distancing remain in place, even after obtaining the two-dose vaccination.

Myth #8: Severe reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines are common.

There have been cases of severe allergic reactions to the vaccine but the chances of getting the virus is much higher. While these reactions are alarming, the occurrence is quite rare at 4.5 per 1 Million vaccinations and comparable to other vaccines. Also, every occurrence in the USA had a good outcome and quick recovery with typical medical treatment.

Myth #9: You should wait until you can choose the exact type of vaccine you’d like.

There is no significant difference between the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines and both behave identically. The third available vaccine is by Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) and it has some advantages over the previous ones: requires one shot only to be fully vaccinated, has fewer side effects.

All clinics, pharmacies and hospitals are very transparent with which vaccine is available and people have the options to pick one over another.

Myth #10: I don’t need the vaccine; this will all just go away soon.

Unfortunately, the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 is here to stay. The most effective way to protect your health and that of our community is to get vaccinated when it is your turn.

You may sign up for vaccine email updates and information from the county here.

These next few weeks will be a time of transition for vaccine distribution. Santa Barbara County will be switching to a new sign-up platform MyTurn.ca.gov and to the new State-run distribution process through Blue Shield. Both will come into effect for Santa Barbara County sometime after March 31.

For more information about local public health orders, guidance, and vaccine distribution in Santa Barbara County, please visit: https://publichealthsbc.org/

Login to add Comments

70 Comments

Show Comments
PitMix Apr 01, 2021 03:17 PM
More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine

I just view the decision to get the vaccine or not like a self-awarded Darwin Award. I'm okay with that but feel sorry for the medical professionals that are stressing themselves to care for Covid patients.

PitMix Apr 01, 2021 03:15 PM
More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine

"Both (vaccine schedulers) will come into effect for Santa Barbara County sometime after March 31."

I am finally eligible but there are no appointments available to me. And in 2 weeks millions more people will become eligible with no additional supply. It is like the Hunger Games out there. Maybe the fact that that no one knows what is going on with the scheduling is making things worse?

Typical government bureaucracy.

letmego Apr 02, 2021 09:29 AM
More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine

You should have gone to Lompoc. I know a lot of people who drove there. Even on Weds, there were still a ton of open slots for the rest of the week, showing a lack of demand.

Honestly, I hear basically that you should check a few times a day, for a few days. It may take a couple of weeks to get a slot. I got lucky.

PitMix Apr 02, 2021 08:31 AM
More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine

Checked CVS, checked myturn, checked SB County who refers you to myturn but based on the above it doesn't appear to be functional yet. Maybe I should have gone to Lompoc and taken the shot away from some local citizen there? Hunger Games again.

Voice of Reason Apr 01, 2021 04:37 PM
More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine

Plenty of spots at CVS. They open and fill up sporadically throughout the day, just have to check back every hour or so and you will have no problem getting a spot.

a-1617319865 Apr 01, 2021 04:31 PM
More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine

PIT... have you checked the county COVID site? I did last week, as I became eligible today, and found lots of appts to the Lompoc site and got my first jab today. When I heard about the CVS option I nearly cancelled my appt only to find all California appts are booked up. I'd rather go 2 miles to the CVS that's giving the shots but if availability is nill I was happy to make the 2 hour return trip.

a-1617318166 Apr 01, 2021 04:02 PM
More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine

@Pit, have you tried signing up directly on the CVS website? Last I checked they had a ton of slots open.

Chip of SB Apr 01, 2021 03:00 PM
More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine

There is no data to say the vaccines are safe for pregnant women yet. However, you can volunteer to help change that. The CDC is asking pregnant women who are getting vaccinated to register so they can see what happens. It’s uncharted territory! If you would like to volunteer yourself and your unborn child to be lab rats of sorts to help the CDC see what effects the different vaccines have on pregnant women and their children, here is a link to their website to sign up. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/vsafepregnancyregistry.html

Voice of Reason Apr 01, 2021 05:24 PM
More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine

Bosco, we have some habitual downvoters here that are right about everything and evidence to the contrary is blasted as Q-anon, Trumper propaganda.

bosco Apr 01, 2021 04:12 PM
More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine

To the person that downvoted my comment: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2021/03/study-shows-covid-19-vaccinated-mothers-pass-antibodies-to-newborns/

But I guess you know more than a Harvard/MIT study.

ChemicalSuperFreak Apr 01, 2021 02:45 PM
More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine

BONUS MYTH #11: THE VACCINE MAY PRODUCE SUBOPTIMAL ANTIBODIES AGAINST NEW VARIANTS FOR WHICH IT WAS NOT DESIGNED, CAUSING ANTIBODY-DEPENDENT ENHANCEMENT (ADE) OF INFECTION, POTENTIAL RESPIRATORY DISEASE AND LUNG DAMAGE.

ACUTALLY TRUE.

The phenomena of vaccine associated disease enhancement has been observed during the development of vaccines against Dengue, Yellow fever, Zika, several coronaviruses, influenza, and HIV (Ref. 1), resulting in numerous failed vaccine trials (Ref. 2).

For COVID, the issue is less about how well the vaccine performed in clinical trials against the specific target it was designed against, but rather how those antibodies would perform against a variant that has mutated sufficiently. In that scenario, the vaccine-elicited antibodies may become non-neutralizing and allow the virus to enter the host via the complement pathway, much like a Trojan horse.

In summary, a new variant may use vaccine-elicited antibodies to hitch a ride into immune cells, causing a worse infection than if the host had not been vaccinated at all. Annual or biannual vaccines may be required to keep up with all the new variants and prevent ADE-mediated infections. We'll all be like vaccine addicts, standing in endless lines all year to get one shot after another. Cheers.

(Ref. 1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antibody-dependent_enhancement

(Ref. 2) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41564-020-00789-5

a-1618285228 Apr 12, 2021 08:40 PM
More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine

A quote from an interview with Reuters by the authors:

"The researchers cautioned, though, that the study only had a small sample size of people infected with the South African variant because of its rarity in Israel.

They also said the research was not intended to deduce overall vaccine effectiveness against any variant, since it only looked at people who had already tested positive for COVID-19, not at overall infection rates."

a-1618214679 Apr 12, 2021 01:04 AM
More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine

Nope, no confusion, although you're trying mightily to sow some. No signs of ADE were seen. The paper hasn't been peer reviewed, and there were a limited number of participants, but spreading fear is unjustified.

ChemicalSuperFreak Apr 12, 2021 12:10 AM
More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine

I can see why this is confusing to someone who has never written, and had published, a scientific research paper. Their "Summary" is what the ACS would call an Abstract, which comes at the beginning, and is completely different from a Conclusion.

As more research on the variants is brought to light, you may see other examples of antibody-dependent enhancement. It seems neither profound nor scary to people who do not understand the immune system, as they do not realize that the cells that are infected by the Trojan antibody-virus complexes are immune cells that make up the complement system. Not only is the virus entering the cells with increase frequency, but it is compromising the immune system in the process. This is a very dangerous confluence of events. It's hard to believe that anyone could be so dismissive of this information.

a-1618209675 Apr 11, 2021 11:41 PM
More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine

Um, you should maybe look up the word "summary". But, it wouldn't match your narrative, so you'll continue to deflect. That's the real lesson you impart with these ridiculous assertions.

And yes, the variant infected vaccinated people more than the non-variants did, and thus their ratio was higher. That's not a very profound, nor scary outcome. The vaccine still provided robust protection against serious disease.

But, you only see what you want to see.

ChemicalSuperFreak Apr 11, 2021 11:23 PM
More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine

You quoted from their opening Summary; there is no "conclusion" section in this paper.

Apparently you were unable to make it any further than this opening paragraph, but had you continued reading you would have discovered the Discussion section, which states, "a significantly higher proportion of B.1.351 was observed in FE cases vs. unvaccinated controls (OR of 8:1, one-sided exact McNemar test, p=0.02)." This is illustrated in Figure 2. The FE cases are people who had received a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Put simply, the South African variant is infecting Pfizer-BioNTech-vaccinated individuals at a higher rate than non-vaccinated individuals. The data is right there in the paper, all you have to do is read it. Still, I'm always delighted to explain things to you and I hope you're learning a lot from these lessons.

a-1618193335 Apr 11, 2021 07:08 PM
More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine

This is just more vaccine FUD from a purveyor of politically motivated misinformation, worded to deceive. What the paper states is that, because the mRNA vaccine is so effective at preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection, but is less effective against some variants, that if you are vaccinated and do happen to get infected, it is much more likely to be a variant strain. Overall, though, your chance of any infection is still greatly reduced compared to an unvaccinated person. Even if you are infected, variant or not, you are also extremely unlikely to need hospitalization if vaccinated.

To quote from the conclusion:"These results overall suggest that vaccine breakthrough infection is more frequent with both VOCs, yet a combination of mass-vaccination with two doses coupled with non-pharmaceutical interventions control and contain their spread."

ChemicalSuperFreak Apr 11, 2021 05:10 PM
More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine

A recent study from Israel demonstrates that people vaccinated with 2 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (BNT162b2) are 8 times more likely to be infected with the South African variant (B.1.351) than un-vaccinated individuals (Ref. 1). Antibody-dependent enhancement is a real concern with new variants, as I and MountainMan warned. If you received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, or really any of the vaccines, you need to stay up to date on the research because you may now be at increased risk of infection (with new variants) than had you not had the vaccine to begin with.

(Ref. 1) "Evidence for increased breakthrough rates of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern in BNT162b2 mRNA vaccinated individuals" (https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.04.06.21254882v1)

Basicinfo805 Apr 01, 2021 02:17 PM
More Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine

I still can't believe people out there believe in vaccine myths instead of science. But we see it all the time. If you're not sure go ahead and research it by thinking critically and looking at the actual papers (science) not rando blogs and bs on Facebook or wherever. I think a big part of the problem, besides social media, is that many people aren't smart enough to know how to think critically. It takes effort and education. Many never learned critical thinking in school.

Pages

Please Login or Register to comment on this.