Vaccine hesitancy myths vs facts

There’s been a lot of misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine and its development. The more people take the vaccine, the easier it will be to break the chain of transmission and protect unvaccinated people. This is referred to as ‘herd immunity’. When deciding whether to get the vaccine, it’s important to separate myths from facts.

Myth: You can get COVID-19 from the vaccine


You can’t get COVID-19 from the vaccine because it doesn’t contain the live COVID virus. However, some people do experience flu-like side effects for a few days after getting vaccinated. If you experience excessive side effects after your vaccine, I advise you to visit your nearest clinic.

Myth: Once I receive the vaccine, I’ll test positive for COVID-19


As I mentioned, there’s no live virus in the vaccine, and the vaccine won’t affect a test result. However, it is possible to get infected with the virus before the vaccine has had time to fully protect your body. 

Myth: Once I receive the COVID-19 vaccine, I no longer need to wear a mask


Even when vaccinated, there’s still a chance of you contracting the virus and passing it onto those closest to you. This is why it’s important to continue wearing a mask, washing your hands and practising social distancing in public, even after you’ve been fully vaccinated. The vaccine simply reduces your risk of experiencing severe symptoms. 

Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine has severe side effects such as allergic reactions


Some people can experience pain at the site of infection, chills, or a headache for a day or two after vaccinating. Although some people can have severe allergic reactions to ingredients used in a vaccine, this is rare. The healthcare provider/nurse should go through your medical history before giving you the vaccine. Should you experience severe side effects, please visit your nearest clinic.

Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine causes infertility in women


This is misinformation that’s making its rounds on social media. This is false, the COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t cause infertility.

Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe because it was developed so quickly


The official COVID-19 vaccines have been proven safe?and effective. Although they were developed in record time, they’ve gone through the same rigorous Food and Drug Administration process as other vaccines, meeting all safety standards.

Myth: Vaccines contain a form of microchip that will be used to track me


There’s no vaccine “microchip” in the COVID-19 vaccine and there’s no evidence to support this. Receiving a vaccine won’t allow people to be tracked. It will also not be used to de-populate.

Myth: I’ve already been diagnosed with COVID-19, so I don’t need to receive the vaccine


Even if you’ve had COVID-19, you can still benefit from the vaccine because you can get infected with COVID-19 more than once.

It’s important to be mindful and protect ourselves against COVID-19 vaccine misinformation. Exposing these myths is essential when it comes to the safety and efficacy of delivering vaccines to fight the virus. Let’s work together in achieving ‘herd immunity’ by playing our part. Once COVID-19 vaccine registration for your age category is called, you can register for the vaccine here.

To learn more, visit the South African Corona Virus website or click here.

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send a Facebook message or a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).