COVID-19 Vaccine Myths and Facts Quiz

Answers FAQ

COVID-19 Vaccine Myths and Facts FAQs

Reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP on January 5, 2021

Take the COVID-19 Vaccine Myths and Facts Quiz First! Before reading this FAQ, challenge yourself and
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Q:The COVID-19 vaccine is not safe because it has not undergone adequate testing. True or false?

A:False.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines that have been shown to be safe and effective as established by data from large clinical trials. In order to receive an EUA, the vaccine manufacturers must follow at least half the study participants for at least two months after completing the vaccination series, and the vaccine must be proven safe and effective in that population.

The known and potential benefits of the vaccines have been found to outweigh the known and potential harms of becoming infected with the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019).

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Q:COVID-19 vaccines cause severe side effects. True or false?

A:False.

Most side effects of vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccines, are mild and temporary. After a vaccine is administered and the body is building its defenses, mild side effects are normal and expected. Common side effects and reactions to vaccines include:

  • Injection site reactions (pain, tenderness, redness, swelling)
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
There is a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in place for patients to report unexpected vaccine side effects. https://vaers.hhs.gov/

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Q:COVID-19 vaccines contain a microchip to track the population. True or false?

A:False.

A conspiracy theory has been circulating that Microsoft founder Bill Gates is involved in a plan to implant microchips into COVID-19 vaccines to track the population with cell towers using 5G technology. This myth began after Gates made a comment about having digital vaccine records.

This is false, and no such technology exists to gather personal information or track people using microchips inserted into vaccines. The technology Gates referenced is not a microchip, it has not been implemented, and it has nothing to do with the development, testing, or distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

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Q:The COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA technology will NOT alter your DNA. True or false?

A:True.

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines use a type of mRNA (messenger RNA) technology not used in any existing vaccine. There is no DNA in these vaccines so they cannot affect a person's DNA.

These vaccines contain a small part of the genetic code for a harmless piece of the same spike protein found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19, and it gives the body's cells instructions to make viral proteins the immune system can recognize. Basically, think of mRNA as an instruction manual for the body on how to fight COVID-19. Once the immune system responds, and the cells are finished using the mRNA instructions, the cells break down and get rid of the mRNA and the mRNA does not enter the nucleus of the cells where genetical material is stored, so it does not affect a person's DNA.

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Q:COVID-19 vaccines DO NOT cause infertility. True or false?

A:True.

Another myth circulating online is that COVID-19 vaccines can cause infertility and even miscarriage. This is based on claims that the spike protein formed by receiving mRNA vaccines blocks a protein needed for a pregnancy to be viable. The protein that is needed for a placenta to stay attached to the uterus is not the same protein as the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The antibodies produced by the mRNA vaccines will not block the placental binding protein.

Some pregnant women who became infected with COVID-19 have experienced fetal loss, and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends immunization for pregnant and lactating women.

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Q:COVID-19 vaccines contain fetal tissue. True or false

A:False.

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine itself does not contain any fetal tissue. The vaccine is produced, in part, by growing a genetically modified adenovirus in cells originally derived from embryonic kidney tissue that come from an abortion performed in the 1970s, however, none of those cells are included in the vaccine.

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Q:People who already had COVID-19 may still need to be vaccinated. True or false?

A:True.

Early data suggests natural immunity from COVID-19 infection may not last very long. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states, "Based on what we know from other related human coronaviruses, people appear to become susceptible to reinfection around 90 days after onset of infection."

More studies are needed, but since reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, the CDC says people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been previously infected with COVID-19.

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Q:COVID-19 vaccines give you COVID-19. True or false?

A:False.

You cannot get COVID-19 from COVID-19 vaccines. None of the vaccines for COVID-19 that are in development or use in the U.S. contain the live virus that causes COVID-19.

There are several different types of COVID-19 vaccines, each of which trains the body to recognize and fight the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Following an immunization, it can take several weeks for the body to produce the produce the immunity needed to fight infection, so it is possible a person could become infected with COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination because the body has not yet had time to build its defenses, however this infection is not caused by the vaccines.

After a vaccine is administered and the body is building its defenses, people may experience mild side effects from the vaccine such as fever or muscle aches. This is normal and expected and a sign the body's immune system is working.

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Q:People still need to wear a mask after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. True or false?

A:True.

The vaccines for COVID-19 have so far shown they are effective in preventing serious illness from the novel coronavirus. It is unknown if people could become infected and be asymptomatic which means a person can get the vaccine and may still be able to transmit the virus to others. As well, until a majority of the population is vaccinated, which will take time, transmission and infection can still occur.

Until there is more data about the possible role of COVID-19 vaccines in preventing the transmission of the coronavirus, people will need to continue wearing masks.

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Q:The flu vaccine or the pneumonia vaccine prevent COVID-19. True or false?

A:False.

Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, and vaccines against influenza do not provide protection against COVID-19.

Although these vaccines are not do not protect against COVID-19, the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend vaccination against these other respiratory illnesses to protect your health.

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