COVID-19 Vaccines: Myths VS Facts - Southstar Drug

COVID-19 Vaccines: Myths VS Facts

Southstar Drug

COVID-19 Vaccination and Health Safety Practices

Beating the Pandemic with Vaccination

COVID-19 remains a threat to society and the economy, disrupting daily life with community quarantines, travel restrictions, and other mandatory protocols to keep the public safe. With new variants emerging, there seems to be no end in sight for this pandemic. 

Just like all viruses, the COVID-19 virus evolves as it proliferates and replicates, creating new and sometimes potentially stronger versions of the virus that can have properties that affect transmission and severity of the disease. Multiple variants have already been documented globally throughout this pandemic. For example, the Delta variant is more infectious and spreads a lot faster than its predecessor.

Because of the unprecedented global impact of COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners authorized the accelerated development of the vaccine, making it available to the general public as early as December 2020, with vaccines arriving in the Philippines in March 2021. 

Vaccination slows down the spread of infection as the community develops herd immunity to the disease. As more and more people become protected by the vaccine, fewer people will have the chance to be infected and thus prevent development of severe symptoms and the need for hospitalization. This also unburdens our already overloaded health facilities and health workers, allowing other patients to be seen and treated, hopefully reducing unnecessary deaths. Once herd immunity is achieved when most of the population becomes vaccinated, the Philippines can begin to transition out of quarantine, as other nations have shown to be possible.

Exposing the Myths about COVID-19 Vaccines

Despite the benefits of vaccination, the rate of the population in the Philippines getting their jabs is still low. Though many people are excited and are just waiting for a schedule from the LGU to get their shots, some are still hesitant to even register due to incorrect information. In this digital age, false information creates uncertainty. This uncertainty spreads like wildfire and in turn results in skepticism and distrust of proven health measures.

With many vaccine speculations circling all over the internet, you may find it hard to determine which sources are credible and trustworthy. Therefore, it is critical to get accurate information from local health authorities and international health experts.

Here at Southstar Drug, we aim to prevent misinformation regarding COVID-19 vaccines. We have listed the most common myths and addressed them, so make sure to know these facts:

Is it really important to get vaccinated and are all COVID-19 vaccines safe and effective?

Yes. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “All approved COVID-19 vaccines have been thoroughly tested, and all provide a high degree of protection against getting seriously ill and dying from the disease.”

In addition, COVID-19 vaccines have undergone clinical trials to determine their quality, safety, and efficacy. Only those vaccines that reached an efficacy rate of 50% and more are approved for dissemination.

Upon vaccine approval, robust effectiveness monitoring together with safety and risk minimization activities are being conducted by regulators to continuously follow up on the vaccine safety and ensure that its benefits outweigh the risks.

Here in the Philippines, there are now a total of eight (8) COVID-19 vaccines with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approvals by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to the Department of Health (DOH). These include Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Sputnik V, Johnson & Johnson’s, Bharat BioTech, Moderna, and Novavax.

Can I still get sick from COVID-19 even when I'm vaccinated?

Technically, yes. You can still get sick even after the COVID-19 vaccination. However, COVID-19 vaccines are still effective and only a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated get infected. These are called “vaccine breakthrough cases”. 

Some evidence shows that COVID-19 vaccines may make the illness less severe in vaccinated people. Therefore, fully vaccinated people are much less likely to be hospitalized or die than those who are unvaccinated.

Studies also show that fully vaccinated people are less likely to spread the virus to others, even if they do get COVID-19. However, it’s highly recommended for them to keep taking all precautions until the majority of the population is vaccinated.

Typically, it takes about 2 weeks for the body to establish protection against the virus. You could still get sick if you have exposure and there has not been enough time for the vaccine to give you protection.

If you have already been vaccinated, continue to take safety precautions like wearing face masks, social distancing, and avoiding enclosed crowded spaces.

Is it true that COVID-19 cases increase as vaccines start rolling out?

No. Vaccines do not increase the number of COVID-19 cases. Vaccines work effectively to decrease the number of people getting infected when preventative COVID-19 measures are taken. As more people get vaccinated, getting your jab can not only protect yourself but also the people around you who are not yet vaccinated or unable to be vaccinated.

Is there a possibility of getting COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine? Aren’t vaccines made with a weakened form of the virus?

No. Getting your vaccination will not make you sick with COVID-19. There is no approved vaccine containing live viruses that can cause COVID-19.

For those asymptomatic cases, are they required to get tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) before getting vaccinated?

No. COVID-19 vaccines do not cause harm to persons who are deemed asymptomatic. Therefore, PCR testing for COVID-19 infection before being vaccinated is no longer needed.

 

Getting COVID-19 Vaccinate protects you and others from the exposure to the virus

 

Are those currently infected with COVID-19 required to get the vaccine?

No. A COVID-19 infected person does not require an immediate vaccination. Those who have been tested with acute PCR COVID-19 can wait until they recover and receive a recommendation for non-isolation before they take their vaccines. Once a person is cleared with a negative PCR test for COVID-19 and has completed their isolation period, they may get their vaccine.

The interval between two COVID-19 shots should be three months, not one month.

No. The interval between first and second shots depends on the type of COVID-19 vaccine. Some vaccines also only require just one dose. Know the vaccines issued with EUA by the Philippine FDA and their dosage and frequency by visiting the DOH website.

One can take the COVID-19 vaccine even after receiving a vaccine for another disease.

No. A minimum of 14 days should be allocated between the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccine for another disease.

COVID-19 vaccines can cause you to be magnetic.

No. All COVID-19 vaccines are metallic-free and do not contain ingredients that can produce an electromagnetic field effect where you have injected. Therefore, receiving one will not make you magnetic.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for expecting moms and for those who have plans of having a baby?

Yes. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated, “If you are pregnant, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy can protect you from a severe illness from COVID-19.”

The CDC and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) closely monitored and gathered information in the US about COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy. Preliminary data gathered from these studies did not detect any posing threat for pregnant people who got their vaccines or their babies.

Scientists are continuously studying COVID-19 vaccine effects on pregnancy and fertility. For now, there is currently no evidence that any vaccines cause female or male fertility problems. Therefore, you can receive the COVID-19 vaccine even if you have plans of getting pregnant in the future.

Can COVID-19 mRNA vaccines affect your DNA?

No. Messenger RNA or mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine used to protect against infectious diseases. They do not interact with your DNA. When you receive this kind of vaccine, your muscle cells use the mRNA to give instructions for your cells to make harmless proteins known as "spike proteins" to incite an immune response. After the protein is made, your cells break down mRNA and they disappear from your body in about 72 hours. Thus, the mRNA from the vaccine never even enters the nucleus of your cell where your DNA is stored.

Do Your Research on Vaccines, then Take Action

As the world navigates through the COVID-19 pandemic, we are also challenged to fight misinformation related to the virus. Inaccurate information spreads widely and is potentially harmful. Now that you are more informed about COVID-19 vaccines, let’s help stop common myths and rumors. Know how to report COVID-19 Vaccine misinformation online.

Local and international health experts agree that our best way through this pandemic is for the majority of the community to get vaccinated. Check out the nearest vaccination site in your area and register to secure your slots.

Find credible vaccine information and updates from the World Health Organization, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, and Department of Health.