Myths and facts about COVID-19 vaccines
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We are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and while countries like the United States are already gradually joining the new normal, others like India are in the middle of the worst crisis caused by the virus so far. There are other countries that are halfway there, such as Mexico, where more than 3 million people are already vaccinated.
This Monday starts the International Immunization Week with vaccination days against COVID-19 around the world, but persistent doubts that are disseminated through social networks about the safety of vaccines and their side effects.
Given this, Dr. H. Dirk Sostman, president of the Academic Institute at Houston Methodist Hospital , cleared up several myths about COVID-19 vaccines.
Myth: Getting the vaccine will cause you to get Bell's palsy.
Fact: “Of the first 35,000 people to receive the vaccine in the United States, five developed Bell's palsy. But this is the rate of Bell's palsy that you would expect to see in the general population. So that just reflects the fact that this vaccine was tested in tens of thousands of people. Medical studies show that a small number of the population will always develop Bell's palsy, and this has nothing to do with the COVID-19 vaccine. "
Myth: Being injected with the vaccine can alter my DNA.
Reality: “That is totally false. The vaccine contains mRNA, which is a messenger that codes for various proteins, but is never incorporated into the DNA (genetic code) of cells. In addition, the life of a messenger RNA as contained in the Pfizer and Modera vaccines is only a few hours inside the body. "
Myth: Getting the vaccine can give me the COVID-19 virus
Fact: “Some vaccinated people experience mild and temporary side effects, which are also normal and expected (eg, mild fever, body aches, and chills). There is a fear that the COVID-19 vaccine could infect with the virus itself, which is absolutely false. None of the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) contain viruses.
Viral vectors are not even used in AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, but these are harmless viruses that are unrelated to COVID-19 and do not cause disease in humans. In short, it is impossible to contract COVID-19 with currently approved vaccines, ”emphasized the Houston Methodist Hospital specialist.
Myth: pregnant or breastfeeding women should not get vaccinated
Fact: “Pregnant or breastfeeding women should seriously consider getting vaccinated. We do not have real data from clinical trials in pregnant people, but the recommendation of specialists is that pregnant women, who are thinking about becoming pregnant or who are breastfeeding should seriously consider getting vaccinated, ”concluded Dr. Sostman. "This is because vaccines are generally safe during pregnancy as pregnancy is a risk factor for severe COVID-19, which can also harm the fetus."