By Maria del Pilar Panizo
When people see themselves in the situation of having to get a vaccine they enter into a rational process whether if their opinion about it is negative based on what they heard, or believe they will avoid it because of the fear of making the wrong choice and ruining their lives. This is why myths can be dangerous when they are based on misinformation, and here is when science comes to play an important role to prove us facts that can tell us that some of those myths we believe true, and people are so afraid of, are actually not exactly what we think.
MYTH 1: Vaccines aren’t safe
The idea of vaccines having a certain level of toxicity and causing negative reactions is very popular among the people that are afraid of contracting diseases through the injection of a vaccine, but the World Health Organization (WHO) already claimed that vaccines are one of the most rigorously tested medicine in the planet, that is only put to use after years of trials, and even after releasing it the scientist keep monitoring the results to assure their outcomes. As an extra fact, people are actually more likely to contract an illness without vaccines than by using them.
MYTH 2: Vaccines aren’t necessary
Even when they are necessary, people still believe that getting a vaccine is all for a false sense of obligation because if you maintain good hygiene and self-care that would do more than enough, but this is not entirely true. There are diseases that will spread even in the most hygienic conditions, having whooping cough, measles or polio are things that you can’t just ignore from existing. What vaccines do is help you get through it and create an optimum rate of immunization for the majority of the population, and it is our duty to make sure we do according to the WHO.
MYTH 3: Vaccines make you sick
When you get a vaccine, you don’t get sick for worse, you get sick because your immune system recognizes the new virus and is helping your body to grow stronger. Is true that this process can cause symptoms such as fever or in the worst cases even throwing up, but this is actually a normal process for the body to build protection for the virus that could get into your immune system and cause even worse symptoms, that is why before it actually do we need to take the best precautions being that the reason why vaccines exist.
MYTH 4: Vaccines can cause autism
This one is also a really known myth and it is not true. When they have kids, parents can tend to associate the experiences in their early growth as a reason why their kids ended up having autism, being one of those getting their first shots as babies. This fear is in some part reasonable and putting the blame on the unknown vaccine can have some sort of sense at the moment, more so when we live in a world full of misinformation. Vaccines are actually not the reason, already hundreds of studies have proven it wrong finding no connection related to this belief as well as with rubella, measles and mumps.
MYTH 5: Vaccines microchip people
Microchipping people is illegal, but people are still afraid that the government is behind all of this, and that is fair fear but is not true either. Vaccines only go into your body to simulate a virus getting into your immune system which would help to create the necessary antibodies to protect you from any real virus going around. They only work for you to get immunity to certain diseases, not exactly to make you part of a microchipped people project.
MYTH 6: Natural immunity is better than vaccines
People tend to believe that having their immune system do the job instead of putting a strange substance inside their body is a better idea to confront a disease. It is not. Having the COVID-19 as an example, vaccinations give you a more predictable immune response than when you just let your body go through it. Actually, without the vaccine, when you already had the illness, it is also more common for you to get the illness again than for people that got entirely vaccinated.
MYTH 7: Vaccines cause variants
Using COVID-19 again as an example, it has caused many controversies when people wonder if getting immune to one variant just causes the creation of another one even stronger. The reason why there are so many variants is that the virus constantly changes because of the natural ongoing process of mutation that it has. Actually, while the virus keeps spreading, it has more opportunities of mutating, and that is why the need of having more people get the vaccines because that would be the best way to prevent new variants from emerging and giving immunity to the majority of the population.
Myths and Facts about covid-19Vaccine: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html
5 vaccines myths that are completely not true: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/5-vaccine-myths-busted/?gclid=CjwKCAjw7cGUBhA9EiwArBAvoqg3bE1E66xWt-hi1d53cZlM8w-i2iwaPun6WfDINjaysju2HeejYRoCrAIQAvD_BwE
10 common vaccine myths busted: https://www.umms.org/coronavirus/covid-vaccine/facts/myths-busted
Vaccine myths and facts: https://www.alberta.ca/covid19-vaccine-myths-and-facts.aspx
Why people fear vaccines: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmed.2021.809395/full