COVID-19 Vaccine: Facts vs Myths
January 5, 2021
2020 was a year we will never forget. Our residents, their families and friends, and our staff have all faced unprecedented challenges and heartache as we have adapted to a “new normal”. As we enter 2021 with renewed hope and commitment to continuing our fight against COVID-19, we are happy to announce that our nursing facilities have been scheduled to begin, if they haven’t already, their first COVID-19 vaccine clinics. While we still have a long road ahead in our fight, this vaccine is a step in the right direction to one day reopening our buildings and welcoming our friends and families back in for REAL hugs!
Now that we have a vaccine available to our residents and staff, it is important to provide you with accurate vaccine information. So many myths are surrounding this new vaccine, and it is important that you understand the importance that the vaccine has in protecting our residents and staff.
Below you will find the Facts vs. Myths regarding the vaccine according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a direct link can be reached at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html.
Myth: COVID-19 Vaccines will give you COVID-19.
Fact: None of the COVID-19 Vaccines developed in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. The goal for the vaccines are to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Occasionally, this process can cause the recipient to exhibit symptoms such as fever or body aches. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.
Myth: COVID-19 Vaccines will cause you to test positive on a COVID-19 test.
Fact: Vaccines offered in the United States will not cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.
If your body develops an immune response, the goal of the vaccination, there is a possibility that you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate a previous infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.
Myth: Individuals do not need the vaccine if they have already been infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Fact: Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection is possible, it is advised that a vaccine still be received. Currently, there are no studies that have proven the length of natural immunity an individual has once they have been infected with the COVID-19 virus. Natural immunity to any virus varies from person to person.
Myth: Receiving an mRNA vaccine will alter your DNA.
Fact: mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid and can most easily be described as instructions the body uses to make a piece of protein. mRNA is not able to alter or modify a person’s genetic makeup (DNA). Instead, COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop an immunity to the virus.
Myth: Wearing a mask and social distancing are just as good as a vaccine.
Stopping a pandemic requires using ALL tools that are available. Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines work with your immune system to make it ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.
Your body will begin building an immunity with the first dose, but the COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses of the vaccine to be considered effective, given 28 days apart. The same vaccine brand should be used for both doses.
The important thing to remember is that the vaccine has proven to help keep humans from getting serious ill even if they do get infected with COVID-19 post-vaccine. Getting the vaccine protects not only yourself, but also people you come in contact with: our residents, our friends, and our families. Make getting the COVID-19 vaccine your New Year’s Resolution!