The manufacture and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines have inspired many conspiracy theories against vaccines around the world.
In this report, ZimFact busts some of the most common myths and misinformation around vaccines that have been popular on social media.
Our report is compiled using information from credible sources, such as the World Health Organisation, Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Health and Child Care, the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) in the USA, and the Africa CDC.
Myth: The Covid-19 vaccine is not safe because it was developed too quickly.
Fact: The global emergency resulted in pharmaceutical companies and governments investing significantly into developing vaccines.
However, this doesn’t mean that safety steps were skipped. Vaccines were still put through tests.
Myth: The Covid-19 vaccine includes a microchip to monitor the masses.
Fact: There is no microchip in the vaccine.
This is simply not true.
Firstly, no microchip can fit in a vaccine needle. Secondly, if anyone wanted to track people, they wouldn’t need to inject a microchip into people.
They can already do that using your smartphone.
Myth: Covid-19 vaccines will alter my DNA.
Fact: Among the first Covid-19 vaccines to reach the market are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines.
Injecting mRNA into your body will not interact or do anything to the DNA of your cells.
Myth: People who have had Covid-19 do not need the vaccine.
Fact: Even people who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the past should be vaccinated.
Myth: High Covid-19 recovery rate makes vaccination unnecessary.
Fact: Most people who get Covid-19 do recover, but many develop severe symptoms and die, so vaccination protects those who might suffer the coronavirus’ fatal impact.
So, even if contracting Covid-19 does not make you sick, getting vaccinated will protect those around you who might suffer severe complications or even death.
Myth: Covid-19 vaccines cause infertility.
Fact: Covid-19 vaccines do not cause infertility.
However, health experts warn that Covid-19 can have serious implications on pregnant women, who typically experience changes to their immune systems that can make them more vulnerable to respiratory viruses.
Myth: Getting the Covid-19 vaccine means no more masks and other coronavirus precautions.
Fact: People who get vaccinated against Covid-19 still need to maintain infection prevention precautions recommended by the World Health Organisation, health experts and authorities.
Myth: Getting the Covid-19 vaccine gives you Covid-19.
Fact: Covid-19 vaccines cannot and will not give you Covid-19.
The vaccines trigger your immune response by instructing your cells to reproduce a protein that is part of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, helping your body recognise and fight the virus, if it comes along.
Myth: Covid-19 vaccines have deadly side effects.
Fact: While the Covid-19 vaccine can have side effects, they are mostly short-term and not serious or dangerous.
Myth: Now that we have vaccines, the pandemic will be over very soon.
Fact: While the several vaccines that have been developed present a great opportunity to end the Covid-19 pandemic, experts say this might take years due to the complexity of the global vaccine rollout.