COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The COVID-19 vaccine has encountered some roadblocks and hesitancy.
A lot of this “vaccine hesitancy” is coming from people who are worried about how quickly these COVID-19 vaccines have been pushed out, which is creating a whirlwind of assumptions on social media.
“I think there is some fear with it,” said Elizabeth Lovell, director of pharmacy at St. Francis-Emory Healthcare.
The push to vaccinate has certainly raised some questions from skeptics. WTVM wanted to take some of those to local experts for answers.
Local health experts like Dr. Joe Kaplan at Acute Care Emergence (ACE) in Columbus said perhaps the most common concern is that taking one of the vaccines will infect you with the virus, but this is false. The vaccines do not contain a live virus but instead are mRNA vaccines.
“When people do not understand, they will come up with all kinds of things,” said Kaplan. “It is an mRNA vaccine, messenger vaccine. “The minute you say mRNA, everyone thinks it gets into your genome, into the nucleolus of your cell and changes you, kind of like the avengers and wolverine. But this is simply not true.”
Another vaccine myth is that the side affects are unbearable.
“They are not any worse than any other vaccine. You’re looking at slight fever, some chills, possibly a headache,” Lovell said.
One assumption about the vaccines is that you can stop wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing.
This too is false. Vaccines do not stop the coronavirus from entering your body; they only prevent you from developing moderate to severe COVID-19.
“People do need to get their information from the experts, not their friend’s girlfriend on Facebook,” said Pamela Kirkland, with the Columbus Health Department.
Health experts say the best advice is to source information and do the research from verified health resources.
Even if you have recovered from the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you should still get the vaccine since reinfection is possible.