Rapid vaccination efforts have led to consistent declines in Covid cases and related complications. Cases are “declining by 5% or more in nearly every . . . state” as “1.8 million vaccinations are being done . . . each day.” As of May 18, roughly 47.5% of the total U.S. population has received at least one vaccine dose.
Nevertheless, certain barriers to domestic vaccine access still exist. While disparities in supply across different counties contribute to incomplete vaccination efforts, a prominent obstacle to near-universal vaccination is a growing anti-vax movement. Numerous myths, from fears of tracking to Microsoft chip implants, are circulating in response to the vaccine. While it is easy to dismiss these conspiracies, addressing them is an important step to reach a return to normalcy.
Myth 1: “I already had COVID-19 so I don’t need the vaccine”
This myth stems from the entirely true medical fact that there are two ways to develop immunity to a virus: contracting, then resisting the virus and receiving a vaccination. The disparity, however, is that natural immunity and vaccination immunity are far from equal. Infection strength, length of time, and variations in specific immune responses create varying rates of natural immunity from resisting the virus naturally. For example, up to “9% of infected people do not have detectable antibodies . . . 30 days after infection.” Vaccinations are important because they provide a reliable and standardized way to ensure immunity to a virus.
Myth #2: There is malicious intent behind the vaccine
This myth and its varying manifestations are perhaps the most – ambitious – conspiracies. From microchips to “Big Brother” comparisons, these myths represent attempts to instill fear in people who would stand to benefit from vaccination. To be clear, the vaccination contains no microchips or tracking devices. This myth is a distortion of the existence of the RFID microchip that vaccine syringes contain. The microchip comes from Apex Systems America, and allows public health organizations to “collect information about when and where the vaccine was administered.”
If you are reading this article, the government already has the ability to track you if they wanted to. Our cell and internet usage, SSN, mortgage loan information, and more allow the government to track citizens with reasonable certainty without the need to inject a microchip in 90%+ of the population.
Myth #3: The vaccine is dangerous because it was rushed and is novel
Rushed implies that corners were cut in the development of the vaccine, but this is not the case. While the vaccine does contain novel technology and was developed in record time, it nonetheless was still required to complete rigorous clinical trials approved by the FDA. These trials were completed faster than other drugs because since COVID-19 is so prevalent, “it only took a few months for the clinical trials to collect enough data to make an . . . evaluation.”
The COVID-19 vaccines’ use of mRNA has raised concerns, as is true with any introduction of new technology. Chiefly, many fear that mRNA-based vaccines will alter their DNA. In reality, the mRNA allows the vaccine to instruct our cells to replicate COVID-19’s protein spike in order to create an immune response. Once those T-cells have been created, the original mRNA is broken down by our cells and exported.
Do your part, protect others, and get your shot.