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COVID-19 Myths and Facts

Myth:  The COVID‑19 vaccine isn’t safe because it was developed so quickly.

Fact:   Because of the revolutionary and fully approved new production methods, the vaccines could be prepared and tested quickly. Before receiving approval for use, manufacturers had to meet the rigorous FDA requirements and test the vaccines on thousands of people. The emergency nature of the pandemic required a quick response, but thorough safety standards were still required and met. Additionally, we expect the Emergency use authorization to but upgraded to full approval due to the use in tens of millions of people and the proven effectiveness and safety.

Myth:  The COVID‑19 vaccine can alter a person’s DNA.

Fact:   No. The vaccine does not affect or change a person's DNA or genetic makeup in any way. The COVID‑19 vaccine does not enter the nucleus of the cell, which means it cannot interact with DNA.

Myth:  The COVID‑19 vaccine can give me COVID‑19.

Fact:   It is impossible for the COVID‑19 vaccine to give you COVID‑19. The potential side effects are a normal sign that you are developing immunity against the virus (and even if you don’t have side effects the vaccine is working). Also, because it takes a few weeks after receiving the vaccine for your body to build immunity, it is possible for you to get COVID-19 just after you have been vaccinated, before you have built immunity. 

Myth:  If I’ve had COVID‑19, I don't need to get the COVID‑19 vaccine.

Fact:   No. We know that immunity lessens over time and some people have contracted COVID-19 twice. Therefore, even if you already had COVID‑19, you should get the vaccine to protect yourself from reinfection.

Myth:  If a person has a food allergy, is immunocompromised, pregnant, or breastfeeding, they can’t get the COVID‑19 vaccine.

Fact:   This has now been evaluated in millions of people and the incidence of severe reactions is extremely rare and easily treatable. Pregnant and breastfeeding women have been extensively studied and the vaccine is safe for mother and baby.  People can still get vaccinated if they have food allergies, existing health conditions, or are pregnant or breastfeeding. The dangers of COVID‑19 infection far outweigh the tiny risks of a reaction.

Myth:  Once I’ve received my COVID-19 vaccines, I no longer have to practice social distancing or wear a mask.

Fact:   We are seeing breakthrough infections in vaccinated people related to exposure to infected people in close proximity. Additionally, while the vaccines are highly effective, there is still a chance that you can transmit the virus to others, even after receiving the vaccine. In order to stop the spread, even vaccinated individuals need to continue to take precautions such as masking and social distancing. We are still learning more about how well the vaccines work, and experts will update recommendations when it is safe to do so.