COVID-19 Vaccine Myths

Myth: I had COVID-19 so I don’t need the vaccine.

There are severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and re-infection is possible. The vaccine offers additional benefit and the CDC recommends that you get the vaccine even if you have had a COVID-19 infection.

Myth: I will be protected against COVID-19 after the first dose, and I don’t need a second dose.

For Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, it is important to get the second dose in order to have the most protection the vaccine can offer. You won’t get the full duration of protection from the vaccines until one to two weeks after the second dose. For Janssen/Johnson and Johnson, only one dose is needed for immune protection to form in 28 days.

Myth: The vaccine isn’t safe.

COVID-19 vaccines were tested in large clinical trials with a diverse group of individuals to make sure they meet safety standards. There were no significant safety concerns identified. We will not administer a COVID-19 vaccine unless the FDA has determined it is safe and effective.

The CDC and FDA paused use of the Janssen/Johnson and Johnson vaccine for a short period of time to study a small number of reports about the development of rare blood clots. Following this pause, the FDA and CDC both determined blood clots forming after J&J vaccination is extremely rare and the vaccine remains safe and effective. People at risk for developing blood clots should talk with their doctor before COVID-19 vaccination.

Myth: I have allergies, I shouldn’t get the vaccine.

People with severe allergies who have experienced anaphylaxis in the past or allergic reactions to vaccines should talk to their primary care doctor about whether they should get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Myth: I got the vaccine so I don’t have to wear a mask.

While the vaccine will offer protection to the vaccinated person, you can still spread the virus to others. It is important to continue to wear a mask, wash your hands often, and stay at least 6 feet away from others.

Myth: The Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine isn’t as effective.

The Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine significantly reduces the likelihood of hospitalization and death. Clinical trials for the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine occurred several months after previously developed vaccines, and therefore faced variants of the COVID-19 virus that were not present when the other vaccines were tested.

Myth: I’m planning to get pregnant, and pregnant women shouldn’t get the vaccine.

Vaccinating against COVID-19 is important as pregnant women are at increased risk for severe illness if they are infected with the virus. Talk to your doctor about what’s right for you.

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