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Covid-19 Vaccinations – Three-Minute Myth Buster

A woman with her hand on her chin looks up towards an illustration of a thought bubble which contains a syringe.

Still have questions about Covid-19 vaccinations?

Read through this three-minute myth buster to find out the facts.

Fact: All vaccines completed clinical trials and were deemed safe. But the safety monitoring of these vaccines continues, which is what normally happens with new vaccines. Some claims on the internet use these study end dates (2023 for Pfizer) but fail to give this proper context.

Fact: This is a misconception around how the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which use new technology called mRNA, work. While the vaccines carry a small part of the genetic instructions of the coronavirus (not the whole virus) to help your body learn to fight it off, these messenger instructions cannot be combined with your DNA and are destroyed by the body soon after they are used.

Fact: Untrue because they do not contain an active form of the virus. Any temporary side-effects you may have (not all people get them) is just the natural response of your own immune system, reacting as if it was fighting a real virus.

Fact: No vaccines offer 100% protection. But after two doses the current vaccines offer very good protection against Covid overall. And they are highly effective (96% for Pfizer and 92% for Oxford-AstraZeneca) against hospitalisation from the Delta variant.

Remember, even the fittest people can get a bad case of Covid, so why risk finding out the hard way if you’re one?

Also, even some people with mild symptoms can develop long Covid, where fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle aches and difficulty concentrating go on long after the initial infection.

Fact: There is no evidence to support this claim and no mechanism by which the vaccines could harm a woman’s fertility. A myth that circulated on the internet speculated that a spike protein on the coronavirus, which is attacked by the antibodies produced by a vaccinated person, is similar to a protein found in the placenta. However, this is untrue. They are not similar enough for there to be any cause for concern.

Fact: This myth has gained a lot of publicity but it is natural Covid infection and long Covid which are associated with erectile dysfunction in men. There have been no reports of impotence linked to vaccination and vaccination is recommended as a protection against this side-effect of Covid infection.

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