Don’t fall for these 8 COVID-19 vaccine myths


Don’t fall for these 8 COVID-19 vaccine myths

If you use social media or surf the Internet, you’ll come across all kinds of information about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Unfortunately, not everything you read or watch is accurate. Let’s take a look at some claims about the vaccine to determine what, if any, factual information is behind them.

Myth: If I get a vaccine, I'll test positive on COVID-19 viral tests.

Fact: None of the vaccines that are under development or authorized for use by the FDA will cause you to test positive for an active COVID-19 infection.
However, if your body develops an immune response — the goal of vaccination — you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have protection against the virus.

Myth: I will get COVID-19 if I receive the vaccine.

Fact: You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
None of the COVID-19 vaccines in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 use inactivated virus, small pieces of the virus or a gene from the virus. None of these fragments of RNA are capable of causing infection.
As with many vaccines, some people experience mild temporary symptoms, including fever, fatigue and soreness at the injection site, for a day or two after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. This is a completely normal response and a sign the body is busy building immunity.
It’s important to know that the process of building immunity typically takes several weeks. That means you could be infected with COVID-19 just before or just after receiving the vaccination. If that happens, the vaccine did not give you the virus. Rather, you contracted the virus before your body had a chance to build sufficient immunity.

Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.

Myth: There’s no way the COVID-19 vaccine can be safe. It was developed too quickly.

Fact: Scientifically rigorous, randomized, placebo-controlled studies show the vaccine is both safe and extremely effective at preventing COVID-19 infection.
Although vaccine development typically takes many years, scientists had already begun research for coronavirus vaccines during previous outbreaks caused by related coronaviruses such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).
That earlier research provided a head start for rapid development of vaccines to protect against infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.
The vaccine development process has also benefited from unprecedented levels of public and private financial support and scientific collaboration.

Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine can cause miscarriage or infertility in women

Fact: There isn’t any evidence the COVID-19 vaccine can cause infertility or miscarriage in women.
Leading researchers and scientists have repeatedly debunked this claim. Learn more here and here. 

Myth: Receiving an mRNA vaccine will change my DNA.

Fact: Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA.
Messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) includes instructions for how to make a protein or a piece of a protein. In COVID-19 vaccines, it’s used to teach the body to make antibodies to protect the body against exposure to the virus.
The mRNA in a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of your body’s cells where DNA is located. Therefore, it cannot alter your DNA or genetic makeup. Instead, COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA work with the body’s immune defenses to safely develop protection to disease. Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work.

Myth: I'm not high risk for serious complications from COVID-19, so I don't need to get the vaccine.

Fact: Nearly every adult should receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
By receiving the vaccine, you can help protect yourself and your loved ones and help our community, state and nation recover from the pandemic.
Immunization is our best defense against COVID-19. It’s impossible to forecast how your body will respond to a COVID-19 infection even if you aren’t in a high-risk group. Plus, if you become infected, you can spread COVID-19 to friends, family, and others around you, putting them at risk for severe complications.

Myth: I've already had COVID-19, so I don't need a vaccination.

Fact: Even people who have gotten tested positive for COVID-19 can benefit from the vaccine.
Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been ill with COVID-19 before.
Because COVID-19 is a new illness, experts are still studying how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from the illness. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long.
As a result, vaccination could be of benefit to people who have recovered from COVID-19.

Myth: If I'm vaccinated, I don't need to wear a mask or social distance.

Fact: We need to follow COVID-19 safety protocols until a large portion of the population is vaccinated and we are sure the vaccine provides long-term protection.

If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, make sure to rely on a trusted source for information. Visit the Tidelands Health COVID-19 vaccine resource center, the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine website or the South Carolina DHEC website.


Sign me up for email updates

Sign up below to receive email updates from

Live Better. Learn More.

Sign up for our e-newsletter.