Jamaicans now have the opportunity to be vaccinated against the coronavirus (COVID-19), which has infected over 47,000 people since the first reported case in March of 2020. As a part of the Government of Jamaica’s efforts to slow the spread of the virus, the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) is encouraging all Jamaicans to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
However, many are sceptical about the efficacy and safety of the available vaccines and have expressed concerns about the potential side-effects of getting inoculated. Below are some of the common myths and accompanying facts about coronavirus vaccines.
Myth: COVID-19 vaccines were developed more quickly than others, so they are unsafe.
FACT: The relative speed with which COVID-19 vaccines were developed is attributable to several factors. These include:
Scientific advances – The methods that allowed for faster vaccine production had been in development for over two decades prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Additionally, data collected from studies of similar illnesses, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) contributed to the understanding of COVID-19.
Clinical trial overlap – Different phases of vaccine clinical trials were carried out at the same time, instead of successively, as is customary.
Availability of resources – Due to the severe, worldwide impact of the coronavirus, many pharmaceutical companies and individuals invested significant resources into vaccine development.
Vaccines are developed in accordance with strict international standards. Additionally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), experts conduct ongoing monitoring to make sure that vaccines continue to be safe.
Myth: You can get COVID-19 from the vaccines.
FACT: Where viruses are used to make coronavirus vaccines, the virus cells are deactivated, and have not been proven to cause infection.
Myth: If you have already had COVID-19, you do not need to get vaccinated.
FACT: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that those who have had COVID-19 get vaccinated against it, as evidence indicates that vaccines offer better protection against reinfection than previous infection.
Myth: Those who have been vaccinated do not need to wear masks or practice social distancing.
FACT: According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), persons who are fully vaccinated (or who are at least two weeks past the date of their final required vaccination) may resume normal activities. However, if required by local law, mask wearing and social distancing protocols should still be observed. Therefore, as outlined by Jamaica’s Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW), until everyone is vaccinated, continued mask wearing; maintaining physical distance; handwashing and sanitisation as well as abiding by the instructions in the Disaster Risk Management Orders must be observed.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccines were developed to control the general population through microchips.
FACT: The use of microchip technology has not been implemented in the development, testing or distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine will alter your DNA.
FACT: The substance from which the available vaccines are made does not enter the nucleus of the cells, where DNA resides, and will not affect your DNA.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine causes infertility.
FACT: Currently, there is no evidence from COVID-19 vaccine trials that vaccination causes infertility or affects fertility.
For further information, contact:
Ministry of Health & Wellness
10-16 Grenada Way
Telephone: 876-633-8172, 876-633-7771