It is time to debunk COVID-19 vaccine myths

Many people are scared of the COVID vaccine side effects when, in reality, they are very mild. Photo by Harry Wyman | The Signal

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? Is that the question? It shouldn’t be. 

From the initial vaccine distribution in December, there has been pushback. Many Americans are still unsure of the vaccine, with 1 in 3 saying they probably will not get the vaccine, according to an AP-NORC poll. 

Georgia is currently in Phase 1A+, which includes healthcare workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, adults aged 65 and older, law enforcement, firefighters and other first responders. As more and more Georgians get vaccinated, we need to understand the vaccine’s importance. 

The vaccine is not something to be skeptical of, and it is the best step toward normalcy. 

Many are scared of crazy side effects. A viral tweet claimed over 30 side effects, including loss of memory and crossing of the eyes. In reality, six real symptoms can last for a day or two. Side effects are a good thing; they indicate that your body is responding to the vaccine. 

I had an extremely sore arm in the hours following the injection and the day after. I could not lift my arm even to shoulder height, so I suggest getting it in the arm that you use the least. I also had a little bit of nausea that quickly subsided,” physical therapy technician Sydney Foster said. 

Even if you experience the more severe side effects, the CDC has created a health check-in app. 

“V-safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Through V-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on your answers, someone from CDC may call to check on you and get more information,” the CDC website states.

Millions of people have contracted COVID-19, and one of the arguments against the vaccine is natural immunity. While there is not enough information to fully understand natural immunity, we know it may not last very long. So after 90 days of a diagnosis, it would be optimal to get vaccinated. 

The risk of illness and death should outweigh a false sense of immunity. 

Once enough people get vaccinated, then there is a possibility of achieving herd immunity. Herd immunity refers to the protection offered by enough people who have been previously infected or vaccinated. After this point, the virus is more difficult to spread; even then, not impossible. It is better to get vaccinated until we reach that point, even if you have already had COVID. 

Many facts and myths bounce around on social media, and it is hard to keep track. 

“I think people reflect what they read on social media, and nowadays it is difficult to decipher truth from myth. Often when that happens, it means people lose trust in all information,” Foster said.

There are so many resources on and off-campus to learn what is happening with COVID. If you are still waiting to get vaccinated, make sure to get tested often at one of the campus facilities. 

When the time comes, please get vaccinated; it shouldn’t be a question.