Health experts have said that a COVID-19 vaccine is pretty much the only way life will get back to a pre-pandemic "normal," whatever that means. But like so many other things about the pandemic, the very concept of a vaccine has attracted myths, misconceptions, skepticism, and outright rejection. Whether you’re trying to convince your vaccine-skeptical sister that the COVID-19 vaccine will be safe, or trying to manage the expectations of your BFF who thinks “it’ll just make coronavirus disappear," it’s good to know all the facts about COVID-19 vaccines — and how to bust the myths.
“There is a lot of information out there about a vaccine for COVID-19, but not all of it is correct,” Dr. Seema Sarin M.D., director of lifestyle medicine at EHE Health, tells Bustle. Science reported in June that only around 50% of Americans plan to get a vaccine, and a survey in the UK found 16% of people would avoid getting vaccinated. That's not great news, and a lot of it is down to myths about vaccination and COVID-19.
When the coronavirus vaccine finally debuts, it’ll join a host of vaccines that have saved millions of lives — and attracted their fair share of misconceptions. “Vaccines have saved thousands upon thousands of lives over the years, and have prevented severe disease and disabilities like polio, hepatitis, and meningitis,” emergency physician Dr. Janette Nesheiwat M.D., tells Bustle. “As the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation [an independent global research center] projects over 400,000 lives lost [to COVID-19] by January 1, the vaccine may be our greatest hope to save lives and return to normalcy.”
Here are some of the biggest myths about the COVID-19 vaccine, and what doctors want you to know about them.
Dr. Teresa Bartlett M.D.
Dr. Janette Nesheiwat M.D.
Dr Robert Mordkin M.D.
Dr. Seema Sarin M.D.
Dr. John A. Sellick D.O.