At Blue KC, we believe it’s critical that the Kansas City community be informed and protected against vaccine-preventable diseases. We also wish to help arm our members and employers with the proper educational tools and resources to make sound healthcare decisions and refute misinformation.
The health and well-being of our community are at the forefront of our efforts, and we strive to be a resource for members of our community on all vaccinations. Below, we’ve broken down some of the most common myths about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccine Myth #1: The vaccine is too risky.
Millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses have already been safely distributed in the United States. Each of the three vaccines currently authorized by the FDA – Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson – met rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing to qualify for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The COVID-19 vaccine also does not contain a live virus and it will not cause you to be infected with COVID-19.
Some states – including Kansas and Missouri – temporarily suspended distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pending an investigation into six cases of blood clotting among the 6.8 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients in the United States. On April 25, a panel of advisers to the CDC recommended that states resume distributing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The FDA has revised its guidance for the single-dose vaccine to include a new warning about the risk of rare blood clots in women under 50. More information is available on the CDC’s website.
Vaccine Myth #2: I already had COVID-19, so I don’t need to get the vaccine.
It’s not yet known how long you are protected against COVID-19 after an infection, so the CDC recommends getting the vaccine regardless of whether you have already had the virus.
Vaccine Myth #3: One vaccine is better than the others.
Though all of the COVID-19 vaccine products have demonstrated different levels of efficacy, all approved COVID-19 vaccines have been 100% effective at preventing serious illness or death from COVID-19. In 2020, COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in the United States – each of these vaccines will help us not only prevent or minimize the severity of an infection, but eradicate the risk of death from COVID-19.
If you are offered a vaccine, you should take it regardless of which brand it is. As always, we recommend following the guidance of your physician when making decisions about your health.
The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only vaccine authorized for use in adolescents 12-15 years old.
Vaccine Myth #4: I got the vaccine, so now I don’t ever need to wear a mask.
Recent guidance from the CDC states that it is safe for fully vaccinated individuals to go maskless both indoors and outdoors, with some exceptions, and no longer have to socially distance. It’s also safe to gather with other vaccinated individuals as well as unvaccinated individuals from one household. However, unvaccinated individuals should continue wearing masks. The CDC also suggests that fully vaccinated people may travel as long as they take proper precautions, including wearing a mask. For more information on what is and is not safe after vaccination, review the CDC’s guidelines.
Vaccine Myth #5: The vaccine is expensive.
The United States government is providing the COVID-19 vaccine to all citizens free of charge, whether you have health insurance or not. This means you will not pay anything out of pocket for the vaccine.
Vaccine Myth #6: I shouldn’t bother getting the vaccine because I could still transmit the virus to others.
Though studies are still in progress, there is evidence that getting the vaccine will not only protect you, but those you come into contact with. It’s also important to do your part in achieving herd immunity, which will further mitigate the spread of the virus. To achieve herd immunity, it’s estimated that at least 70 to 90 percent of adults will need to be vaccinated.
Vaccine Myth #7: The side effects from the vaccine are worse than COVID-19 symptoms.
Most individuals who receive the vaccine will experience side effects that are not as significant as the COVID-19 infection itself. While you may experience mild side effects such as vaccine site soreness, headache, sore muscles, fatigue or a low-grade fever, these are most likely signs that your body has recognized the vaccine and is triggering an immune response. None of the vaccines can give you COVID-19.
Vaccine Myth #8: It’s impossible to schedule an appointment for a vaccination.
Scheduling vaccine appointments has been a challenge across the country and in the Kansas City community, but availability is improving every day.
Vaccine eligibility and distribution also vary by state, as they are led by state governments. Kansas and Missouri have collectively administered close to four million doses, with approximately one quarter of their populations having received at least one dose. To determine your eligibility for the vaccine and register for an appointment, we recommend using VaccineFinder.org.