COVID-19 Vaccine Myths

When deciding whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s important to separate myths from facts. 


Maddy Paterson, Staff Writer

The COVID-19 vaccine promises a return to normalcy- if people get it. While many are lining up to receive theirs, some cast doubt on the efficacy and safety of this vaccine. Though skepticism of vaccines has existed since the inception of the medical breakthrough, in this unprecedented time of death, containing the spread of misinformation and blatant fallacies is essential to repress this virus.

Below is a list of common myths associated with the COVID-19 vaccine and the reasons they are false.
*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. Always consult with your doctor before engaging in a medical process*

Many people are excited to have vaccines as the first step in managing the spread of coronavirus. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of misinformation surrounding vaccines and their development. When deciding whether to get the vaccine, it’s important to separate myths from facts. 


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 includes a tracking device.

Fact: 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 health care providers confirm a vaccine dose’s origin. The chip itself is not injected into the person getting the vaccine.

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

Fact: Some participants in the vaccine clinical trials reported 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’s 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. 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’ve 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 it protects someone 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 until enough people are immune. The best protection we can offer each other right now is to continue to follow current guidelines. As more people are vaccinated and experts have a better idea of how long natural and vaccine immunity lasts, public health experts will update their guidance as necessary.