Vax Myths: Debunked

Over the last two years, we have all made maintaining our health and well-being a priority. ESSENCE® and the Louisiana Department of Health are helping to move our communities forward by spreading the word about the COVID-19 vaccination.

Knowing there is a lot of misinformation out there, here are 5 of the top myths circulating—and the real facts from top medical professionals that debunk them.

MYTH: The COVID Vaccine Will Give Me COVID
The short answer here is no, this is a myth. Dr. Victoria Smith, the Associate Medical Director at St. Charles Parish Hospital in Louisiana breaks it down. “There is no live virus in any of the vaccines that are approved for usage in the United States,” she says. “Vaccines work by teaching your body to make protective cells against the virus or any bacteria, they do not give you the actual disease.” After you receive the vaccine, your immune system is able to recognize that it does not belong there and responds to get rid of it. When an immune response begins, antibodies are produced, creating the same response that happens in a natural infection. If you want to find out more about how these mRNA vaccines work, click here to check it out.

MYTH: There is a Micro-Chip in the Vaccine
A rumor has been circulating that there is a chip in the vaccine that is designed to track you. According to Eboni Price-Haywood, the Medical Director at Ochsner Xavier Institute for Health Equity and Research, the scientists who created the vaccine did not do so to make a chip to track the population. “No, there is no micro-chip in the vaccine,” says Eboni. “It was created to prevent people from getting sick from this infection that’s circulating in the community.” If you want to learn more about all of the ingredients used in the COVID-19 vaccinations authorized for use in the United States, click here to see the full list on the CDC’s website.

MYTH: The Vaccine Will Make Me Infertile
Many social feeds were full of this misinformation, but Dr. Smith says that is absolutely incorrect. “There is no connection between the vaccine and infertility,” she says. “We actually know that the America Society of Reproductive Medicine, these are the doctors that specialize in treating women who have infertility, have strongly recommended that women who are infertile or beginning infertility treatments be vaccinated against COVD-19.” Click here if you want to read their recent study that reveals the vaccine does not cause female sterility.

MYTH: The Vaccine Was Created to Kill African Americans
This is possibly the most harmful myth out there because unfortunately COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting Black people. “Black people are dying of COVID-19 one and a half times more than those who are white,” says Dr. Smith. She emphasizes that there is also a gap in vaccine uptake by people of color and urges you to get vaccinated. “There is a safe and effective vaccine that will help prevent Black people from getting COVID and from dying from COVID,” she says.

MYTH: The COVID-19 Vaccine Causes Variants
According to the CDC COVID-19 vaccines do not create or cause variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. New variants happen because the virus is constantly changing through a natural ongoing process of mutation (change). Even before the COVID-19 vaccines, there were several variants of the virus. Looking ahead, variants are expected to continue to emerge as the virus continues to change. To find out more about variants, click here.  

MYTH: I Don’t Need A Vaccine If I Already Had Covid
Currently we don’t have any data to support how long you’ll be covered by natural immunity, according to Dr. Shantel Hebert-Magee, Region One Medical Director, Louisiana Department of Health. She goes on to say, that nor do we know if your natural immunity has been conferred will be effective against the various variants, like the Delta variant. “What we do know is that those who have been affected and have subsequently gotten the vaccine, they see a surge in their anti-bodies and it has greatly improved the chance that they would not get COVID-19 again,” says Dr. Hebert-Magee. “Why would you leave that to chance?”

Are you ready to join the 193 million people in the U.S. who have been vaccinated? To find a vaccination location in Louisiana, click here.

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