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6 claims around the Covid vaccine that AREN'T TRUE

The Covid-19 vaccines are being rolled out across the UK, but we now face the challenge of vaccine hesitancy, which is being fuelled by misinformation that is spreading on social media.

Here, our Head of Research, Kieran Breen, busts some of the worrying myths to help reassure the public the jabs are safe.

1. MYTH – The vaccine will impact on fertility. FALSE

There is no evidence that the vaccine has any impact on fertility, either in males or in females. Initial pre-clinical studies looking at the safety of the vaccine assessed all potential adverse events. There was no indication that there was any impact on the reproductive system. In the clinical trials for all the vaccines, there were no reports of any problems in fertility for men or women. The vaccine acts in the same way as many other vaccines, such as the flu vaccine, and none of these have anti-fertility side effects. The British Fertility Society has also stated that the vaccine should not interfere with fertility treatment.  

2.  MYTH – The vaccine will alter your DNA. FALSE.

Both vaccines contain specific genetic material which generates the spike protein within the body to initiate the anti-virus immunity. However, because of their make-up, neither of these will have any impact on the genetic make-up of the cell or reproductive organs, so it is not harmful in this way. The spike protein then stimulates an immune response against the COVID-19 virus, and this process is not associated with the reproductive system.

3. MYTH – If you have had COVID-19, you don’t need to get vaccinated. FALSE.

People who have had COVID have a certain level of immunity against the virus. However, this can be quite low and there are increasing reports of people who had COVID in the first wave in early 2020 developing the condition again. Therefore, it is important that everybody gets the vaccine and because it its make-up, it will provide a much stronger immunity against the virus

4. MYTH – The approval of the vaccine was fast-tracked and short cuts were taken, therefore, it’s not safe. FALSE.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is responsible for approving all new medicines, including vaccines. Normally, a drug company will collect all of the information from clinical trials of a new medicine and then submit them together. Because of the urgency the COVID-19 vaccine, this information was submitted on a rolling basis right from the start of the clinical studies so the MHRA was kept up to date with all of the information available. When the final clinical trial information was submitted, the MHRA had already assessed all of the results in the early stages of the trials and they could make a decision in a much shorter time period.

5. MYTH - There an actual risk of getting COVID from the vaccine. FALSE.

The vaccine only contains a very small part of the virus and this is inactive – it will not cause the disease. When the vaccine is administered, it sparks off an immune response against the virus. This is the same way that the flu vaccine works. A small number of people may get moderate flu-like symptoms when they are vaccinated due to this immune response. However, it is usually transient and will disappear after a few days. If it persists, you should contact your GP.

6. MYTH: Once I get vaccinated, I don’t have to wear masks or practice social distancing. FALSE.

While the vaccine protects you against the virus, there is still the possibility that you may carry it. One clinical study has suggested that there is a much lower risk of people who have been vaccinated spreading the virus, but this has yet to be verified and it was a relatively small number of people in the trial. Therefore, it is vital that people continue to observe the current infection control procedures

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