Last updated – 04 February 2021 (Information correct at the time of publishing. Vaccination facts will be updated as guidance changes)
- The vaccine was approved too quickly; it won’t be safe.
Fact: Most vaccines take years to develop, test and approve for public use but, a global effort has meant scientists have been able to work at record speed.
The NHS would not offer any Covid-19 vaccinations to the public until independent experts have signed off that it was safe to do so. The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The MHRA follows international standards of safety.
Millions of people have already been given a Covid-19 vaccine and reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, have been very rare. No long-term complications have been reported.
2. The Government wants to force people to be vaccinated.
Fact: People are being asked to make up their own minds based on factual information not myths.
A number of vaccines against different diseases are already recommended to people working in jobs where they may be exposed to high-risk diseases.
This is to protect both the workers’ health and that of the patients and service users they come into contact with.
We know that Covid-19 is spreading within our communities and is not only a problem for care homes and hospitals.
3. The vaccine could give you Covid-19.
Fact: Some vaccines contain the germs that cause the disease they are immunising against but they have been killed or weakened to the point they don’t make you sick.
In the case of a coronavirus vaccine none that are in development contain a live coronavirus and therefore can’t give you a coronavirus infection.
4. We don’t know what’s in these vaccines.
Facts: All ingredients are published in the healthcare information on the MHRA’s website.
Despite theories circulated on social media, vaccines do not contain microchips or any form of tracking device.
5. The vaccine contains pork.
Truth: There has been a lengthy debate about the safety of these vaccines and their suitability for the Muslim community.
Council for Mosques has followed international debates, consulted with GPs, health professionals, and held discussions with local community leaders and Islamic Scholars. They have concluded that none of the three currently approved UK vaccines contain any animal fats, alcohol or egg bi-products and therefore can be taken by Muslims. https://mcb.org.uk/resources/coronavirus/#vaccine
6. We don’t know the side effects so it could be really dangerous
Truth: Reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, have been very rare.
The risk of a mild side effect such as a sore arm will not compare with the risk of death that Covid-19 poses.
Most reported side effects are mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:
• a sore arm where the needle went in
• feeling tired
• a headache
• feeling achy
7. People could suffer allergic reactions when they get the jab
Truth: Allergies to vaccines are very rare. They are given safely to millions of people every year. The odds on having a severe anaphylactic reaction to a vaccine are about 1 in a million. You are more likely to be struck by lightning
A very small number of individuals have experienced anaphylaxis when vaccinated with Covid-19 vaccine. Following close surveillance of the vaccine roll-out, the MHRA has advised that individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to food, an identified drug or vaccine, or an insect sting can receive any Covid-19 vaccine, as long as they are not known to be allergic to any component of the vaccine. Most anaphylactic reactions occur shortly after vaccination.
Staff giving the vaccine are trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.
8. The Covid Vaccine can affect fertility
Truth: The Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) have issued a joint statement to confirm there is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 vaccines will affect fertility.
Dr. Edward Morris, president at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “We want to reassure women that there is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 vaccines will affect fertility. Claims of any effect of Covid-19 vaccination on fertility are speculative and not supported by any data.”
“There is no biologically plausible mechanism by which current vaccines would cause any impact on women’s fertility. Evidence has not been presented that women who have been vaccinated have gone on to have fertility problems.”
9. The vaccine is unsafe for me because I’m pregnant or breastfeeding.
Truth: The MHRA has updated its guidance to say that pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding can have the vaccine. Pregnant women can discuss it with a clinician to ensure that the benefits outweigh any potential risks should they wish. Similarly, advice for women planning a pregnancy has also been updated and there is no need for women to delay pregnancy after having the vaccination.
10. I already had COVID-19, so I won’t benefit from the vaccine.
Truth: We don’t yet know how long natural immunity to COVID-19 lasts. Right now, it seems that getting COVID-19 more than once is not common, but there are still many questions that remain unanswered. Experts say that, even if you’ve had COVID-19, it would still be appropriate for you to get the vaccine to make sure you’re protected.
11. Since COVID-19’s survival rate is so high, I don’t need a vaccine.
Truth: It’s true that most people who get COVID-19 are able to recover. But it’s also true that some people develop severe complications. Millions of people around the world have died from COVID-19 – and that doesn’t account for people who survived but needed to be hospitalised. Because the disease can damage the lungs, heart and brain, it may also cause long-term health problems that experts are still working to understand.
12. These vaccines will alter my DNA.
Truth: The vaccines use mRNA to instruct our cells to make a piece of the coronavirus’s spike protein in order to spark an immune system response.
Once the mRNA does that our cells break it down and get rid of it.
13. If you’ve had the vaccine you don’t need to wear a mask
Truth: Even if you are immunised against Covid-19, you could still pass the virus on to others.
We still don’t know how vaccinations affect onward transmission and until we do — and while many people remain unvaccinated — people are being urged to continue to follow social-distancing guidelines, wear masks and wash hands to prevent passing on the virus.