We are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and while countries like the United States are already gradually entering the new normal, others like India are in the midst of the worst crisis to date caused by the virus. There are other countries halfway through, like Mexico, where more than 3 million people have already been vaccinated.
This Monday begins the International Immunization Week with days of Vaccination against COVID-19 around the world, but lingering doubts spread through social networks about the safety of vaccines and their side effects.
With this in mind, Dr. H. Dirk Sostman, President of the Academic Institute at Houston Methodist Hospital, raised several myths about COVID-19 vaccines.
Myth: If you get the vaccine, you will get Bell’s palsy.
Reality: “Of the first 35,000 people who received the vaccine in the United States, five developed Bell’s palsy. But this is the rate of Bell Palsy you would expect in the general population. That just reflects the fact that this vaccine has been tested on tens of thousands of people. Medical studies show that a small portion of the population always suffers from Bell Palsy, and this has nothing to do with the COVID-19 vaccine. “
Myth: injecting the vaccine can change my DNA.
Reality: “That is completely wrong. The vaccine contains mRNA, a messenger substance that codes for various proteins, but is never incorporated into the DNA (genetic code) of cells. In addition, the lifespan of a messenger RNA, as it is in the Pfizer and Modera vaccines only last a few hours in the body. “
Myth: If I get the vaccine, I can get the COVID-19 virus
Reality: “Some people who have been vaccinated have mild and transient side effects that are also normal and are to be expected (e.g., mild fever, body aches and chills). There are concerns that the COVID-19 vaccine could infect itself with the virus, which is absolutely wrong. None of the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) contain viruses.
Viral vectors aren’t even used in AstraZeneca and Johnson Johnson vaccines, but these are harmless viruses that are not related to COVID-19 and do not cause disease in humans. In short, it is impossible to infect COVID-19 with currently approved vaccines, ”said the Houston Methodist Hospital specialist.
Myth: Pregnant or breastfeeding women shouldn’t be vaccinated
Reality: “Pregnant or breastfeeding women should seriously consider getting vaccinated. We don’t have real data from clinical trials in pregnant people, but the recommendation from specialists is that pregnant women considering pregnancy or breastfeeding should seriously consider vaccination, ”concluded Dr. Sostman. “This is because vaccines are generally safe to use during pregnancy, as pregnancy is a risk factor for severe COVID-19, which can also harm the fetus.”