We're still here for you

At Hannibal Regional, the safety, health and well-being of our patients, visitors and our team is our top priority. We are taking safety precautions at our hospital and clinics and are doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

All Hannibal Regional locations are no mask, no entry and masks should remain on for the duration of your visit.

Vaccine Myths

Myth: mRNA vaccines can change a person's DNA

Fact: The components of the vaccine do not alter, change, or interact with our DNA in any way. Our DNA are contained in the nucleus of our cells. The mRNA from a Covid-19 vaccine does not ever enter the nucleus of the cell. The role of the mRNA is to tell our muscle cells the genetic message of how to make the Covid-19 “spike” protein. Once it does this, the mRNA is quickly degraded by our bodies (within a few days). Our cells will then make copies of this “spike” protein, which will allow our bodies to mount an immune response and produce antibodies to the Covid-19 virus.

Myth: The vaccines were made too fast

Fact: The vaccines were able to be made this quickly due to the mRNA technology, which does not require time to grow viral proteins (which is how some types of vaccines are made). Scientists had already begun researching Coronavirus vaccines after the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreaks. No corners were cut in the clinical trials or the FDA processes. The data from the large, multiple phase trials show that these vaccines are safe and effective, and that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the risk of getting infected with COVID-19.

Myth: The COVID-19 vaccines can give me COVID-19 infection.

Fact: It is not possible to become infected with COVID-19 from the vaccines. The vaccines do not contain live virus. The mRNA in the vaccines tells our body how to make the “spike” proteins displayed on the COVID-19 virus. When our body sees and recognizes these proteins, it starts an immune response to make antibodies against the COVID virus. If our body is then ever exposed to the live COVID-19 virus after vaccination, we already have these antibodies to help fight it off.

Myth: The COVID-19 vaccines were made with unknown technology.

Fact: The technology used in these vaccines is not new. It was developed in the 1990s. mRNA technology has been and is currently being studied for the treatment of certain diseases, such as HIV and cancer, and it has shown great promise.

Myth: I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, so I don't need to get the vaccine.

Fact: The protection of antibodies gained from COVID-19 infection vary from person to person, and it is not known how long this immunity lasts. Due to the risk of re-infection and the health risks of Covid-19, it is recommended to get fully vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection.

Myth: I do not need both doses of the vaccine to be protected.

Fact: Both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are recommended to provide the best protection. You will be considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after receiving your 2nd dose of the vaccine.

Myth: COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility.

Fact: There is currently no evidence that any vaccine, including the CCOVID-19 vaccine, causes infertility for males or females. Of note, 23 women became pregnant during the Pfizer vaccine’s clinic trial. Some were concerned that antibodies to the “spike” protein would also target a protein in the placenta of pregnant women called “syncytin-1.” However, this is not true as they are different proteins, and there is no data to support this rumor.

Myth: Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not receive a COVID-19 vaccine

Fact: It is recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women receive their COVID-19 vaccines. This recommendation is backed by both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM). Data suggests that pregnant women with symptomatic COVID-19 are at a higher risk of more severe illness compared to non-pregnant women.

Myth: COVID-19 vaccines contain microchip technology.

Fact: These vaccines contain mRNA encoding the viral “spike” protein of the COVID-19 virus. Other vaccine ingredients are available on the Vaccine Information Sheet, and they are listed here: lipids, potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose. These are all common ingredients in food and medicines. There is no microchip nanotechnology inserted into the vaccines.

Myth: Vaccines are not effective and don't work.

Fact: Simply put, a vaccine is a way to prepare our bodies to fight off certain diseases without actually having the disease itself. Vaccines trigger an immune response in our bodies to learn how to make the antibodies to a specific disease. After getting a vaccine, you might feel the symptoms of this immune response (headache, fatigue, muscle aches). This is not the vaccine making you sick, but instead this is your body’s immune response. Vaccination has helped to eradicate other diseases in the United States, such as polio and smallpox, that were once very common. Specific to Covid-19, clinical and real-world data have demonstrated that Covid-19 vaccines are 90-100% effective at preventing severe disease, hospitalization, and death from Covid-19.

Myth: The vaccines have really bad side effects.

Fact: The most common and expected side effects of a COVID-19 vaccine include headache, fatigue, and muscle/injection site pain. Anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) has occurred in 2-5 people out of 1million
(0.0005%). For comparison, the risk of anaphylaxis with aspirin is approximately 2,000 times higher. COVID-19 vaccines are the most intensely monitored vaccine in history. Any adverse events thought to be related to the vaccines are required to be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System(VAERS). This has created an even stronger level of scientific scrutiny of these products.

Myth: The COVID-19 vaccines are not working against the new variant strains of COVID-19.

Fact: The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been shown to be highly effective against the newer variants of COVID-19, including the Delta variant, through real-world data.

References

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – cdc.gov
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – fda.gov
  • Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services - covidvaccine.mo.gov Nebraska Medicine – nebraskamed.com/COVID/vaccine