By Samuetta Hill Drew
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a personal choice. This critical decision should be made using the most recent and best medical and scientific findings, instead of unfounded rumors based upon someone’s non-medical or unscientific beliefs or feelings. As we conclude this series on facts versus myths relative to the COVID-19 vaccine, it is important to address the most common myths with the facts, so individuals can make informed health decisions.
As stipulated in former articles on facts versus myths, the information presented will be from varied medical and/or scientific sources. These sources include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the University of Missouri, and Johns Hopkins Medicine. Due to the important nature of this information, much of it will be direct quotes so there will not be any mix-ups relative to the research findings.
MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccine is not effective and is unsafe because it was developed so quickly.
FACTS: 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. No steps were skipped.
There are many reasons why the COVID-19 vaccines could be developed so quickly. One is that the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna were created with a method that has been in development for years, so the companies could start the vaccine development process early.
Secondly, China isolated and shared genetic information about COVID-19 promptly, so scientists could start working on vaccines.
We can also thank the unprecedented worldwide collaboration and investment for the shorter time frame on the development of the vaccines. The clinical trials and safety reviews actually took about the same amount of time as other vaccines.
MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccine includes a tracking device.
FACTS: A video shared thousands of times on Facebook makes false claims about the products of syringe maker Apiject Systems of America, which has a contract with the government to provide medical-grade injection devices for vaccines.
The company has an optional version of its product that contains a microchip within the syringe label that helps providers confirm a vaccine dose’s origin. The chip itself is not injected into the person getting the vaccine.
As I stated earlier, getting the vaccine is a personal decision, but those who have decided to go forward with the vaccine are believed by the medical/scientific community to be helping Keep an Eye on Safety for themselves, their families and their community at large.