Myths about the coronavirus vaccine, from microchipping to DNA changes

  • Conspiracy theories against coronavirus could prevent people from getting vaccinated if they are left without an address.
  • It is impossible for vaccines to change your DNA, make you infertile, or give you COVID-19.
  • The vaccine will not be forced on people who do not want it, nor does it contain a microchip for tracking the location.
  • Finally, you will not be protected from COVID-19 the moment you shoot. It will take time and widespread harmonization to get life back to normal.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more news.

Now that the U.S. has approved and begun distributing the two vaccines, the real challenge lies in ensuring that people shoot the vaccines – and in tackling the misunderstandings and conspiracy theories surrounding the vaccines.

At least about 75% to 85% of Americans must be vaccinated for life to return to normal pre-COVID-19, infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci. Misinformation is a huge obstacle to achieving that milestone, because people may not want to get a shot they don’t trust or understand.

“It’s not just about people’s interpretations,” Bernice Hausman, author of Anti / Vax: Reforming the Vaccination Controversy, told Insider earlier. “The problem is to fix the lack of trust in the government, pharmaceutical companies and public health.”

This lack of trust has made people worry about what is in the vaccine, what it can do to your body, and whether it is really needed. But key players have so far been transparent about how the vaccine works and what it can and cannot do.

Here we will look at eight but untrue myths and conspiracy theories about the vaccine, and explain why they are not true.

1. Vaccines against mRNA cannot change your DNA

A political party called Advance New Zealand announced on Facebook on December 1 that mRNA vaccines would “directly intervene in a patient’s genetic material and therefore alter individual genetic material”.

The group attributed the claim to Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who had promoted misinformation about vaccines in the past, but a fact checker at the AFP news agency found no evidence that he was linked to the case.

Vaccine mRNAs work by telling the body to create a key protein in the coronavirus, which the immune system then attacks, training it to fight the virus itself. They do not work by entering the genetic material of the body, which is physically impossible.

As the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says in its consultation on vaccination of pregnant and lactating women, “these vaccines do not enter the nucleus and do not change human DNA in vaccine recipients. As a result, mRNA vaccines cannot cause any genetic changes. ”

2. The vaccine will not make you infertile

A post circulating on social media falsely claimed that Pfizer’s new coronavirus vaccine could cause infertility in women.

The post promoted the misconception that the vaccine stimulates the immune system to attack both the protein in the coronavirus and the protein involved in the formation of the placenta.

But experts say there is no evidence that the vaccine could lead to infertility, and that the two proteins do not have a similar enough composition to make the theory credible.

And while pregnant women are excluded from clinical trials and so it remains to be seen exactly how vaccines affect that population, experts predict they are safe because they are made from mRNA rather than live virus. Only vaccines made from live virus are considered unsafe for use during pregnancy.

ACOG, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, says pregnant women who want the vaccine should be able to get it.

3. The vaccine does not contain a microchip

One of the craziest myths about vaccines is that the injection contains an injection microchip that can track your location – and Bill Gates has something to do with it.

Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist has played a key role in past and present vaccine campaigns. This conspiracy theory, which researchers claim may have originated from InfoWars, says Gates plans to use mass coronavirus vaccination to implant billions of people with microchips.

Both Pifzer and Moderna published fact sheets detailing the ingredients of their coronavirus vaccines, which did not contain any mention of location tracking devices. Gates also assured reporters that the conspiracy theory in June was false.

“It’s almost hard to deny these things because they’re so stupid or weird that even repetition gives them credibility,” Gates said in a media call announcing $ 1.6 billion for immunization in poor countries, according to USA Today.

4. The federal government cannot force you to take the vaccine, although states, schools, and private employers can

While it is important that 75 to 85% of the population be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, it is extremely unlikely that the U.S. government will order vaccination to achieve that milestone.

“You don’t want to name and try to force anyone to take the vaccine. We never did that,” Fauci said in an August live stream. You can designate certain groups of people like health workers, but for the general population you can’t. “

A national vaccine mandate may not be possible, but states and cities have the authority to require their residents to be vaccinated. It is possible that COVID-19 hotspots may require people to get the vaccine or pay a fine.

Hospitals and universities also have a history of requiring staff and students to be vaccinated for anything from hepatitis to meningitis. As these are high-risk settings for the spread of COVID-19, private or public institutions could implement mandates against the coronavirus vaccine.

Other private employers could order – but are more likely to recommend – a coronavirus vaccination in the name of public safety, Business Insider reported earlier.

5. The vaccine will not give you COVID-19, but it will also not protect you immediately

Vaccines are designed to introduce your immune system to a harmless amount of the virus so that your body can recognize the intruder in the future. But the coronavirus vaccines on the market do not contain the virus itself, only tiny parts of its genetic material that are not capable of infecting you.

The process of getting the vaccine can cause some temporary side effects, such as puncture site pain, fatigue, headaches, and, in rare cases, fever. These reactions signal that the immune system is doing its job and should not be confused with the actual symptoms of COVID-19.

However, it takes you a few weeks after your second shot of the vaccine (administered three to four weeks later) to develop antibodies that protect you from the virus. This means that there is a time frame in which you could get COVID-19 after vaccination, so you should not throw away the mask as soon as you shoot.

6. The vaccine developed quickly, but the safety angles were not cut

Vaccines have been developed in unprecedented steps. “Under normal circumstances, creating a vaccine can take 10 years. This time, more vaccines have been created in less than a year,” Bill Gates wrote on his recent blog.

But that’s not because scientists were sloppy. “We were able to move very quickly without sacrificing any security issues, without cross-sections and certainly without compromising scientific integrity,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci during a live broadcast hosted by US News & World Report.

Instead, speed was possible for three key reasons: First, because the two now approved vaccines are made from mRNA, a vaccine platform that could develop much faster than traditional vaccines. Scientists in the Modern Year are perfecting mRNA technology and have introduced eight mRNA vaccines before clinical trials began in clinical trials.

And second, because countries and organizations immediately invested in the stages of the development process, instead of waiting for one step to be completed before the next is funded.

“That means if the vaccine works, you save a bunch of months, instead of waiting for it to work, and then make a vaccine,” Fauci said.

In addition, scientists have not started coronavirus research from scratch. They were able to continue on previous efforts regarding a vaccine for two other types of coronavirus, SARS and MERS, which were stopped when those attacks stopped.

7. Having a history of COVID-19 does not mean that you should skip the vaccine

People who have had COVID-19 develop protective antibodies in response, but this method of protection is not impenetrable and scientists do not know how long it lasts.

In addition, as Tracy Hussell, a professor of inflammatory diseases at the University of Manchester, wrote in an interview, in some hospitalized patients the body’s immune system was so overwhelmed by fighting the infection that it did not develop an effective “immune memory.” “On the other hand, people with very mild infections may not have activated their immune system at all to develop such a memory.

So while it may be reasonable for some people who have recovered from the disease to stand behind the more vulnerable people in line for the vaccine, experts still recommend getting an injection.

8. No, life will not return to normal as soon as we get the vaccines

Although experts say the introduction of the vaccine marks the beginning of the end, that doesn’t mean life will return to normal immediately before a pandemic.

“I think people perceive you get the vaccine and you’re safe and we can finally stop all this masking and social distancing and the like, but that’s not really the reality,” Debra Goff, a infectious disease pharmacist at Ohio State University Medical Center, said. is for Business Insider.

The reality is that it will take time to learn how well, if at all, the vaccine protects people around those who are vaccinated, and probably longer to reach a 75-85% immunity threshold that can allow all of us to let down our guards.

Even then, life won’t be 100% normal until the whole world reaches this level of herd immunity, Fauci and Bill Gates agreed last month on a podcast that Microsoft founder coexists with actress Rashid Jones.

“If we have the disease elsewhere in the world, it’s not clear to me if we can go back and do big sporting events or open bars, because like Australia or South Korea, there’s going to be a risk of re-infection out there,” Gates said. “So as long as he’s in the world, I’m not sure we’re going to get back to normal completely.”

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