Mon. Sep 27th, 2021

Busting the myth: Getting vaccinated is a safer and wiser decision

Busting, Myth, Vaccination, Get Vaccinated, Safe, Wise, Covid-19, Dr. Vivek Srivastav, Vice President, Esperer Nutrition,

  • The author of this article is Dr. Vivek Srivastav, Vice President- R&D and Operations, Esperer Nutrition

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • When there was no vaccine for COVID-19, many scientists worked day and night to develop vaccine candidates out of which a few made the mark.
  • The deadly disease now has a preventive vaccine, in fact several vaccines, but some people spread the fear they have against such vaccines.
  • You may have heard some conspiracy theories that the vaccines may cause harm etc. Read on to know the truth.

More than 200 COVID-19 vaccines are in development worldwide, with governments securing deals to access advance doses. But access is not merely anissue.

A vaccine is meant to protect lives, prevent severe infections, save us the need to be hospitalised even if we get infected. But as conspiracy theories float around, many of us wonder: Are COVID vaccines safe?

According to health officials, India has administered 40 Cr (400 million) doses and 8.1Cr (81 million) population has been fully vaccinated across the country as of 18July 2021. After vaccinating its frontline COVID-19 warriors (medical, police, sanitation staff etc), India launched its massive COVID-19 vaccination drive at 10.30 am on January 16 via a video conference at the hands.

Continuous study and data are proving that vaccination helps people combat a disease better, yet there are a few people who are themselves deficient in true information about a vaccine but liberally give sermons on it, making the vaccine sound like a dangerous gamble. That scares people away and makes them hesitant to get vaccinated. These conspiracy theories are damaging and need to be busted.

Here are COVID-19 vaccination myths you should never believe.

Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe because it was developed so quickly.
Fact: The authorized vaccines are proven safe and effective. Although they were developed in record time, they have gone through the same rigorous Food and Drug Administration process as other vaccines, meeting all safety standards. The clinical trials and safety reviews took about the same amount of time as other vaccines. 

Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine will alter my DNA.
Fact: The first vaccines granted emergency use authorization contain messenger RNA (mRNA), which instructs cells to make the “spike protein” found on the new coronavirus. When the immune system recognizes this protein, it builds an immune response by creating antibodies — teaching the body how to protect against future infection. The mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA (genetic material) is kept. The body gets rid of the mRNA soon after it’s finished using the instructions. 

Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine has severe side effects such as allergic reactions.
Fact: Some participants in the vaccine clinical trials did report side effects similar to those experienced with other vaccines, including muscle pain, chills and headache. And although extremely rare, people can have severe allergic reactions to ingredients used in a vaccine. That is why experts recommend people with a history of severe allergic reactions — such as anaphylaxis — to the ingredients of the vaccine should not get the vaccination.

Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine causes infertility in women.

Fact: Misinformation on social media suggests the vaccine trains the body to attack syncytin-1, a protein in the placenta, which could lead to infertility in women. The truth is, there is an amino acid sequence shared between the spike protein and a placental protein; however, experts say it’s too short to trigger an immune response and therefore doesn’t affect fertility. 

Myth: I have already been diagnosed with COVID-19, so I don’t need to receive the vaccine.
Fact: If you have already had COVID-19, there’s evidence that you can still benefit from the vaccine. At this time, experts don’t know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long.

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


Fact: Masking, handwashing and physical distancing remain necessary in public until a sufficient number of people are immune. Fully vaccinated people can meet with other fully vaccinated people without wearing masks. 

Myth: You can get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
Fact: You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine because it does not contain the live virus.

Myth: Once I receive the vaccine, I will test positive for COVID-19.


Fact: Viral tests used to diagnose COVID-19 check samples from the respiratory system for the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19. Since there is no live virus in the vaccines, the vaccines will not affect your test result. It is possible to get infected with the virus before the vaccine has had time to fully protect your body. 

Myth: I am not at risk for severe complications of COVID-19 so I do not need the vaccine.


Fact: Regardless of your risk, you can still contract the infection and spread it to others, so it’s important you get vaccinated. Once the vaccine is widely available, it is recommended that as many eligible adults as possible get the vaccine. It is not only to protect you but your family and community as well.

Myth: If I receive the COVID-19 vaccine, I am at a greater risk to become sick from another illness.
Fact: There is no evidence to suggest that getting the vaccine heightens

Awareness is Key and Busting Social media myth is of vital importance and those are few as

1)Can people consume alcohol before or after being vaccinated?

There is no evidence so far of alcohol reducing the effectiveness of the vaccine or antibody production. Having said that, it’s best to avoid alcohol intake post-vaccination as the mild flu-like illness or any reactions may be masked or exaggerated.

2)Can you have sex after vaccination?

Yes, absolutely. Vaccines have no detrimental effect on the sexual life of an individual and neither does having sex have a detrimental effect on the vaccines. However, it’s best to avoid unprotected sex and use barrier contraception for about 12 weeks after vaccination.

3)Can you donate blood? If no, then after how much duration?

People can donate blood after vaccination as long as they are feeling fit and are showing no symptoms of illness. There is no waiting period between vaccination and eligibility to donate blood.

4)Are vaccines safe for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers?

All vaccines are being offered to pregnant women. In case of complications, you may want to delay for 12 weeks after pregnancy detection and get vaccinated before the third trimester.

5) Can vaccine shots be taken during menstruation?

Yes. The government has busted the myth and said it is perfectly safe to take your Covid-19 vaccine jab during menstruation.

6)Is there a relation between Covid vaccines and heart attacks?

There is absolutely no relation between Covid vaccines and heart attacks. There had been incidents of people having heart attacks in the period following the Covid vaccine but when it was investigated it was found that in a large population that gets vaccinated there will even naturally be certain people who will have incidents like heart attacks; this number was not much more than what was seen in the period before the vaccine.

A vaccine cannot give humankind 100 % protection unless it has covered every human and other possible carrier vector animals/hosts like it was done in the case of smallpox. By 1977, the last shots of the smallpox vaccine were given and in 1980, it was declared eradicated. It exists only in the form of frozen samples in the US and Russian labs. Not so with the COVID-19 virus, not quite yet. As the WHO says, no one is safe until everyone is safe. So you will have to follow the vaccine+precautions policy.

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