- May 25, 2021
- Jeanne Adams, PharmD, Pharmacist in Charge
You can’t go anywhere without hearing about the Covid-19 vaccines. People discuss which vaccine to get or refuse to vaccinate altogether. There is an endless supply of vaccine information available, some true and some myths. This article will shed light on a few myths surrounding vaccines.
Let’s begin with how a vaccine works in the body. Bacteria, viruses, and germs cover every surface we come in contact with. A germ can enter our body through breathing, eating, cuts in our skin, or other methods. Our body recognizes the germ as a foreign substance, meaning it does not belong in our body. White blood cells investigate the germ and create antibodies, a protective protein produced by your immune system. The antibodies are made to recognize a specific foreign substance. It can take 7 to 14 days for the antibodies to be produced and distributed in the bloodstream. During this time, the germ multiplies and spreads, causing the individual to become sick. Once the antibodies are produced and circulating through the blood, they recognize, surround, and stick to the foreign substance. Then they signal other white blood cells to destroy that foreign substance. This is a natural process that our bodies have perfected to keep us healthy.
When a vaccine is given, the body recognizes it as a foreign substance and starts producing antibodies. The antibodies are created and stay in the bloodstream. If the vaccinated individual comes in contact with that specific germ, the antibodies are ready and waiting to attack. The body can skip the 7 to 14 days needed to create the antibody. This allows the body to dispose of the germ before the individual becomes sick.
Myth One: Covid-19 vaccines are only FDA-approved for emergency use; therefore, they are not safe.
Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Covid-19 vaccines completed thorough testing with hundreds of thousands of participants collectively. The “emergency use” designation means that the paperwork for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval was pushed to the front of the medications waiting for approval list. However, the research and testing were not rushed. These vaccines had to meet rigorous standards for efficacy, safety, and manufacturing processes. The FDA would not approve any vaccine, even for “emergency use,” without meeting these guidelines.
Myth Two: Vaccines cause the individual to get the disease.
There are many ways a vaccine can be made. Some vaccines use a stunted or crippled version of the virus, such as measles, polio, and chickenpox vaccines. Other vaccines use a dead virus, such as influenza, tetanus, and Covid-19 vaccines. Either way, the vaccine is intended to stimulate antibody production. A live, active virus is never used in a vaccine. An individual cannot get the disease from a dead, stunted, or crippled virus.
Myth Three: Vaccines cause autism.
There is no known connection between administering vaccines and autism. The fear surrounding vaccines and autism originated with the publication of a scientific study in 1998 that linked the use of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine to autism. This study has been disproven in countless studies since then. The lead physician involved in this study has since been removed from the medical register after the study was fraudulent. There is virtually no credible, peer-reviewed scientific evidence that shows any relationship between vaccines and autism.
Myth Four: I am healthy and not afraid of getting sick; therefore, I don’t need a vaccine.
It is true that young and healthy people are more likely to fight off viruses. However, once infected, even young and healthy people can spread the virus before they know they are sick. This puts more people at risk of contracting the disease. Vaccinating aims to prevent illness through increased levels of immunity, sometimes called “herd immunity.” Studies suggest at least 70 percent of the population must be vaccinated to see the effects of herd immunity. It is a win-win. The individual will build up an immunity to prevent themselves from getting sick, and they stop spreading the disease to everyone else. Individuals need to do their part to help keep our communities safe and healthy.
Here for you. Here for Life.
Hartig Drug Company pharmacists are here to answer any questions you may have regarding not only the Covid-19 vaccines but other vaccines as well. Hartig Drug still has Covid-19 vaccines available for children and adults 12 and older. Schedule an appointment today at www.hartigdrug.com/appointment.
Visit www.hartigdrug.com or contact your local Hartig Drug pharmacist today!