Vaccination in One Short Sentence
Vaccination can save your life and stop the epidemic.
Why the Hesitation
“Vaccination can save your life and stop the epidemic.” Sounds great, right? So why the hesitation?
Hesitation stems from partial information, misunderstood information, and straight-out falsehoods. Let us examine some of the sources of hesitation and misbeliefs about vaccination.
COVID Vaccines Arrived in a Rush
Of course, after all, this is an emergency.
That does not mean the vaccines are ineffective or dangerous. Firefighters, ambulance services, and others, rush to emergencies but their interventions are effective and essentially safe. The reason is preparation.
Surprisingly, preparation has been ongoing for decades because COVID is not the first corona virus with which scientists and physicians have experience. Other familiar corona viruses are SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, first emerged in November 2002; MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, identified in September 2012; and, the common cold, of long familiarity.
Because of this, scientists were well positioned to rapidly develop COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. Within two weeks of COVID’s discovery, NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease) had determined how the virus enters cells, and within two months, had begun trials of a treatment and a vaccine.1
While COVID may be new, researchers were certainly not starting from scratch!
Composition of the COVID Vaccine Is Unknown
This is just false. All three US vaccine makers have published the ingredients of their vaccines, available on their websites. Further, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) website also gives the ingredients.2
The COVID vaccines do not contain live virus, mercury, eggs, microchips, or human embryo tissue.
COVID Vaccines Change Your DNA
The three vaccines currently available in the US are Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson. All three are injections. All three work by instructing cells in the body to make a protein that triggers an immune response.3
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA (messenger RNA) vaccines meaning that mRNA delivers the instructions and then breaks down. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is a traditional viral vector vaccine that uses a disabled virus that cannot replicate in the body to cause illness, a virus unrelated to the COVID virus, to deliver the instructions.7
DNA resides in the nucleus of the cell and these instructions, whether delivered by mRNA or disabled virus, do not enter the nucleus. They do not alter the body’s DNA.5
COVID Vaccines Can Cause COVID
As we have seen above, the vaccine does not contain the COVID-19 virus and cannot cause COVID. Of course, someone already infected with COVID before the vaccination might, however, begin manifesting the disease afterward. This is the difference between vaccination and cure.
Vaccines Have a Microchip to Track You
This is a major confusion and has been clarified by Bill Gates. The optional microchip is on the syringe label and confirms that the vaccine is not counterfeit and has not expired. It can also verify that the injection has been given. It is a method to track vaccine units, not people.5
Natural Immunity from Surviving COVID Is Superior to Vaccination
This is a falsehood for sure. The body’s immunity from infection diminishes over time. Vaccine seems to provide longer immunity than natural infection. Data suggests that recovered but unvaccinated people are 2.34 times more likely to be reinfected with COVID than fully vaccinated people.2
Vaccinated People Can Get Breakthrough COVID, so Don’t Bother
No vaccines are 100% effective. Still, the 95% effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is certainly impressive. It means that a vaccinated person is 20 times less likely to get infected than an unvaccinated person. Additionally, even if infected, the vaccinated person is much less likely to be hospitalized or die than the unvaccinated.3
Another statistic shows how small is the chance of a vaccinated person getting severely ill or dying from COVID. On August 9, 2021, the CDC indicated that 8,054 of 166 million fully vaccinated people had been hospitalized or died from COVID. That is 8,054 out of 166,000,0008 or only one in 20,750.
Finally, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky indicated that 99.5 percent of all deaths from COVID were in the unvaccinated.8
COVID Vaccines Cause Infertility
This falsehood was best addressed in a report from Johns Hopkins Medicine.
“Confusion arose when a false report surfaced on social media, saying that the spike protein on this coronavirus was the same as another spike protein called syncitin-1 that is involved in the growth and attachment of the placenta during pregnancy. The false report said that getting the COVID-19 vaccine would cause a woman’s body to fight this different spike protein and affect her fertility. [Nevertheless,] The two spike proteins are completely different and distinct, and getting the COVID-19 vaccine will not affect the fertility of women who are seeking to become pregnant, including through in vitro fertilization methods. During the Pfizer vaccine tests, 23 women volunteers involved in the study became pregnant, and the only one who suffered a pregnancy loss had not received the actual vaccine, but a placebo.”4
Both the CDC2 and WHO9 (World Health Organization) encourage women who are pregnant or wish to become pregnant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
We began with the question “Is Vaccination Hesitation for COVID Reasonable?” The answer is “NO!” Vaccination can save your life and stop the epidemic. Hesitation stems from partial information, misunderstood information, and straight-out falsehoods.
Hesitation exposes those who hesitate and everyone in contact with them. Hesitation buys time for the virus to mutate and become even more aggressive. There is no good reason for hesitation, so let’s face the reality and get vaccinated!
Thomas Falasca, DO
1 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (n.d.). Coronaviruses. Retrieved September 13, 2021, from https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/coronaviruses
2 Pogored. (2021, August 24). Common COVID-19 Vaccine Myths Explained. Retrieved September 13, 2021, from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/common-covid-19-vaccine-myths-explained/
3 Mayo Clinic Health System. (2021, September 2). COVID-19 vaccine myths debunked. Retrieved September 13, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/featured-topic/covid-19-vaccine-myths-debunked
4 Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2021, August 4). COVID-19 Vaccines: Myth Versus Fact. Retrieved September 13, 2021, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccines-myth-versus-fact
5 Neelaveni Padayachee, N. (2021, August 5). Experts debunk 6 myths about the COVID-19 vaccine. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
6 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, September 7). Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines. Retrieved September 13, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html
7 Stevens, M. (2021, May 3). Johnson & Johnson vaccine: How is it different? Retrieved September 13, 2021, from https://www.vcuhealth.org/news/covid-19/johnson-and-johnson-vaccine-how-is-it-different
8 Most, D. (2021, August 13). Myths vs. Facts: Making Sense of COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation. Retrieved September 13, 2021, from https://www.bu.edu/articles/2021/myths-vs-facts-covid-19-vaccine/
UNICEF. (2021, June 01). The 12 Common Myths & Misconceptions About COVID-19 Vaccination. Retrieved September 13, 2021, from https://www.unicef.org/armenia/en/stories/12-common-myths-misconceptions-about-covid-19-vaccination