COVID-19 Vaccine Myths
We are confident that the COVID-19 vaccines that have Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA are safe. We also know that there is a lot of information out there about the safety, efficacy and side effects about the vaccines – but not all of it is accurate. That’s why we want to dispel some common myths and share the most up-to-date and correct information on the vaccine.
According to the CDC, mRNA vaccines give our cells instructions to make copies of a harmless protein that is unique to the COVID-19 virus. Our bodies then build immune responses to that protein so they remember how to fight the virus if we are infected in the future. Because it does not enter the nucleus of the cell, where DNA is kept, mRNA cannot alter or modify the genetic makeup of a person and does not interact with human DNA in any way.
You cannot get COVID-19 from mRNA vaccines or shed the virus after receiving one because they do not contain the live virus.
No significant safety concerns, including sterilization, have been observed during the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trials. Additionally, a vaccine cannot be approved without following set safety protocols. Approval cannot happen until at least two months after the final shot is given during the clinical trial to monitor for safety concerns. Trial participants will be monitored for long term side effects for at least two years.
Since the start of the pandemic, the federal government, under Operation Warp Speed (OWS), has been working to make a COVID-19 vaccine available ASAP. OWS provides federal resources and funding to speed development but keep strict standards for safety and effectiveness.
The vaccine supplies were available quickly because mass production began before the FDA gave it emergency use authorization. The clinical studies were not skipped or shortened.
According to the National Institutes of Health, research on mRNA technology began in the early 1990s with testing in animals and has been studied for use in vaccines, including on humans, over the last ten years.
While it’s true that most people who have COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and recover, COVID-19 can cause severe health risks and some people still have symptoms for months after they are infected. Also, some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last long. The COVID-19 vaccine is a safer way to build immunity with fewer health risks.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has clearly stated that both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are morally acceptable. In a December 14, 2020 memo, it wrote: “Neither Pfizer nor Moderna used morally compromised cell lines in the design, development, or production of the vaccine.”