As the second wave of the coronavirus engulfed India, people not only panicked as the number of cases rose, but they are also constantly falling prey to the myths and misconceptions around COVID-19. As scientists and medical professionals work to create a clinically approved vaccine to treat patients and stop the virus from spreading, people are struggling to keep the vaccine-related misinformation at bay.
To help everyone get through this safely and with as less confusion and doubts as possible, we are going to debunk the 5 most common myths around the COVID-19 vaccine. So, if you’ve had doubts or still questioning whether you should get vaccinated or not, this one is for you.
MYTH: I don’t need a vaccine if I’ve already had COVID-19
FACT: If you’ve already been infected with COVID-19, you can still benefit from vaccination.
It is advisable to receive complete schedule of COVID-19 vaccine irrespective of past history of infection with COVID-19. This will help in developing a strong immune response against the disease. Development of immunity or duration of protection after COVID-19 exposure is not established therefore it is recommended to receive vaccine even after COVID-19 infection. However, you should wait for 4-8 weeks after recovery from COVID symptoms before getting the vaccine.
MYTH: The development for the vaccine was rushed, so it’s effectiveness & safety cannot be trusted
FACT: These vaccines have been developed under expert supervision and with enough testing to back their efficiency. Various phases of vaccine trials are also undertaken to ensure its safety and efficacy. Studies show that the vaccines are effective without any serious and life-threatening side effects.
Developing a vaccine generally involves years of research. First, we need a vaccine candidate that is evaluated in animals for its safety and efficacy. After a vaccine candidate passes a pre- clinical trial, it enters the clinical trial phase. While scientists have worked round the clock in the laboratory, even regulatory approvals which used to take several months have been fast tracked. It helped eliminate all the time lapses between the pre-clinical and clinical trial stages. Earlier, the vaccine development involved a series of steps, but in the case of the coronavirus vaccine, the scientists and regulators worked in tandem, accelerating the whole process without compromises on any protocols and any step.
MYTH: I can stop wearing a mask & taking precautions after getting the vaccine
FACT: You need to practice the infection prevention measures even after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
It is absolutely necessary that everyone who has received the COVID-19 vaccine should continue to follow the COVID-19 appropriate behavior i.e., mask, do gaj ki doori and hand sanitization to protect themselves and those around from spreading the infection.
MYTH: Getting the COVID-19 vaccine gives you COVID-19
FACT: The vaccine for COVID-19 doesn’t give you the disease. Rather, the vaccine, when introduced in your body, instructs your cells to build immunity against the virus. This helps your body to recognize & fight the virus, if you come in contact with it again. Upon vaccination, your body only reproduces a protein that is part of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus to fight it off and does not cause any further infection of any sort. Should you experience any side effect, they usually resolve in a matter of 2-3 days and do not require much attention.
MYTH: I should not get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m on my period
FACT: The COVID-19 vaccine does not affect a woman while menstruating. The vaccine only encourages the body to create copies of the spike protein so that the body can fight it off in the future.
The theory, gone viral on social media, suggests that menstruation lowers a woman’s immunity and hence taking a vaccine, 5 days before, during or after your periods won’t be safe. This misconception has led many women to believe that the COVID-19 vaccine isn’t completely safe for them. More importantly, COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be effective in all respects, and there is no evidence that taking the vaccines during any time of the period cycle is dangerous.
Remember, our first line of defense against this deadly virus that has claimed millions of lives worldwide, is getting the vaccine. So, don’t get duped by the misinformation around you, trust the process and get vaccinated. We understand that these are difficult times, but we encourage everyone to take care of their loved ones, help wherever & whoever you can and together we shall rise victorious from this notorious virus that continues to threaten our freedom. Stay home, stay safe.