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The 6 Biggest COVID-19 Myths Busted

Vaccine hesitancy is among the top 10 global health threats, according to the World Health Organization. According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey, more than one-quarter of Americans remain vaccine hesitant, saying that they probably or definitely would not get a COVID-19 vaccine “even if it were available for free and deemed safe by scientists.”

According to CNBC, the speedy development of the COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna have planted seeds of doubt into the minds of Americans who worry that their safety standards and efficacy are below par with other vaccines that took years to manufacture.

WHO says that vaccination prevents millions of deaths annually and that the COVID-19 vaccine can help contain the spread of the virus if enough people get inoculated. However, the information and more importantly, the misinformation, about the vaccines has cast a shadow over their universal acceptance. Here are some common myths about the vaccines experts want to clarify, according to CNBC:

1. COVID-19 vaccines are not safe because they were developed too fast. The currently approved drugs from Pfizer and Moderna have undergone stringent clinical trials involving thousands of participants and strict scrutiny by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before being granted Emergency Use Authorization to fight COVID-19. According to CNBC, experts say “no corners were cut” to get the vaccines safely into the marketplace.

2. Coronavirus vaccines alter DNA. The new vaccines currently approved by the FDA, use genetic mRNA technology to teach the immune system how to vanquish the virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), once our cells learn how make the spike protein piece that can identify the invader, the cells break down the instructions and get rid of them.

3. COVID-19 vaccines affect fertility. According to experts the information is false, and while the vaccine was not tested on pregnant women in clinical trials, there has been no real-life evidence that the virus has interrupts or prevents pregnancies. Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale School of Medicine, told USA Today that while pregnant women may be at slightly more risk of severe illness from COVID-19, there has been no data on complications or miscarriages.

4.The vaccine is unsafe for pregnant women. Since pregnant women were not included in the clinical trials of the vaccines, the CDC’s advisory committee announced they would not recommend the vaccine for this population. According to ABC News, Dr. Rashmi Rao, an assistant clinical professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCLA Medical Center, and an expert in maternal-fetal medicine, said, “We just don’t have any data to say that’s OK yet, because pregnant women weren’t included in the trials.” However, since pregnant women may be at high risk of contracting severe complications from COVID-19, the U.K.’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization stated it has “recognized that the potential benefits of vaccination are particularly important for some pregnant women.” According to CNBC, it’s best to discuss the issue with your doctor.

5. If you’ve had the vaccine, you don’t have to wear a mask. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said that people who have received their first COVID-19 shot should continue to wear masks and take necessary precautions to avoid infection form the virus. Speaking with reporters, Gottlieb said his advice is especially important for older Americans who are at increased risk of complications from COVID-19. “I think for an older individual who is vulnerable to the virus, certainly wait for a period of time after the second shot until you’re likely to have full protective immunity,” he said. “I don’t think people should feel completely secure after the first shot.” According to CNBC, people can still be contagious even if they’ve been inoculated 6. You can get COVID-19 from the vaccine. Definitely not, say experts, who point out that both the Pfizer and Moderna shots do not contain live virus, according to CNBC. Even the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine that contains a weakened virus that triggers the common cold in chimpanzees has been modified to prevent infection.

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