(via the American Federation of Teachers)
Dangerous misinformation campaigns are fueling skepticism and hesitance around the COVID-19 vaccines, a situation that both prevents achievement of herd immunity and increases the possibility that new variants will be deadly to even the vaccinated. The truth is that 99.5 percent of all COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths happening now are among the unvaccinated. As vaccination numbers lag and COVID-19 infections surge in many communities, it is imperative that AFT members have the most accurate and up-to-date information about the vaccines.
The following is intended to set the record straight about some myths and misconceptions:
MYTH: I already have had COVID-19, so I don't need to get vaccinated.
FACT: There currently is not enough evidence to show how long a person is protected from COVID-19 after infection. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection is possible, people are advised to get a vaccination even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before. Some may turn to antibody testing to determine immunity to COVID-19; however, antibody testing shouldn’t be used to consider anyone immune to the disease—doing so may lead individuals to falsely assume they can stop prevention measures and further the spread of illness. There are inherent limitations to antibody testing, including the possibility of detecting antibodies for other coronaviruses.
MYTH: I'm pregnant or trying to get pregnant, so I shouldn't get vaccinated.
FACT: Current evidence does not support the notion that COVID-19 vaccination causes problems with pregnancy. This includes misinformation claims about the vaccine’s impact on development of the placenta, as well as those claiming fertility problems as a side effect of the vaccine. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine guidelines call on all pregnant women to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration did not identify any safety concerns for pregnant women who were vaccinated or for their babies.
MYTH: If I get the vaccine, then I will test positive for COVID-19.
FACT: The currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines do not cause a positive result in COVID-19 viral tests. It is possible, however, that you could test positive on some antibody tests when the body develops response to vaccination. This is because antibody tests indicate protection against the virus.
MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccine will cause a dangerous reaction.
FACT: Your body may exhibit side effects from the vaccine, such as body aches, fatigue and headache. These side effects occur because the body is doing what it’s supposed to, which is building immunity to fight off the virus. Side effects, if they do occur, typically only last one to two days.
MYTH: It's dangerous to have an unproven vaccine tested on me.
FACT: COVID-19 vaccines received the FDA emergency use authorization after thorough investigation and review of clinical trial data. The vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna submitted their applications in May 2021 and June 2021, respectively, for full FDA approval of their vaccines; while the FDA has not indicated when the full approval of the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines will take place, it is anticipated to be a six-month process.