Patients trust primary care providers for accurate information on the COVID-19 vaccines. Here are 7 of the many myths now widespread you may need to explain to your patients.
Primary care physicians may have patients who are ready and willing to receive vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 virus when the shot is available to them and others who will simply refuse. There will likely be a group in the middle, too, that needs reassurance and answers to some questions from you.
Your job is made harder because of true unknowns about both the virus and about the only-months-old vaccines in addition to the significant amount of misinformation in wide circulation.
To help you stay current on the type of misleading statements your patients may be hearing and reading and to counter them with facts, Patient Care Online® collected 2 sets of Myths and Facts drawn from government and other authoritative online sources.
Following is the second group. You can review the first slide show with 8 additional Myths and Facts here.
FACT. The COVID-19 vaccines are the first made with mRNA technology to be widely used for the public; however, research on this vaccine strategy has been ongoing for decades. There have been early-stage clinical trials using mRNA performed for influenza, Zika, rabies, HIV-1, and cytomegalovirus. So, the knowledge and understanding of how to use mRNA technology was in place when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
FACT. None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines or vaccines now in clinical trials can lead to a positive result for a viral test—those tests all detect a current COVID-19 infection.
FACT. While there may be short-term immunity after COVID-19 infection, it is unclear how long this will last. Right now, vaccination is the best protection and the safest. We also need more information on how long vaccine-induced immunity will last but for now vaccination is the best way to protect public health.
FACT. Public health authorities urge everyone to continue wearing masks, washing hands, and practicing social distancing after receiving the vaccine. There are several reasons. It may take several weeks for the body to mount an adequate immune response and it is not yet clear whether the vaccines protect against asymptomatic infection and spread so mitigation is still extremely important.
FACT. COVID-19 vaccines have not been linked to either infertility or miscarriage. An online campaign has been widely circulating claiming that vaccine-triggered antibodies to the COVID-19 spike protein bind to placental proteins and prevent pregnancy. Neither COVID-19 infection or antibodies produced after infection have been linked to infertility.
Myth #6. The COVID-19 vaccines have to be stored at subzero temperatures because of the preservatives they contain.
FACT. Pfizer and Moderna have reported that their vaccines contain no preservatives. Different vaccines have different storage requirements. The mRNA the COVID-19 vaccines use is fragile and can break down easily; storing them in an ultracold environment keeps them stable and safe.
FACT. Pfizer and Moderna have both published the ingredient lists for their vaccines. Both vaccines contain lipids that support mRNA entry into the body’s cells and several ingredients common to pharmaceuticals to help maintain drug pH and stability. There is a disinformation campaign circulating on social media that the vaccines contain microchips and tracking devices. These are blatantly false statements.