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6 COVID Vaccine Fears You Shouldn't Worry About

Medically reviewed by Ika Villanueva Caperonce, MD · Infectious Disease · Makati Medical Center

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Sep 02, 2022

    6 COVID Vaccine Fears You Shouldn't Worry About

    Is the COVID vaccine safe? Getting the COVID-19 vaccine can be quite scary but ask an expert, and they’ll tell you that it’s one of the best ways to protect yourself against a potentially fatal infection.  What are the common fears about the COVID vaccine, and how can you overcome them? Find out here.

    Fear #1: Is the COVID vaccine safe? Because the Vaccines Were Rushed…

    When news about vaccine roll-out first broke, many people raised their eyebrows. Left and right, we hear them ask: how did we develop the vaccines so quickly? Don’t they usually take years? Is the COVID vaccine safe?

    Well, they do; but having the COVID vaccine faster than usual doesn’t mean the scientists “skipped steps.”

    Reports say we now have advantages we didn’t possess before. First among those advantages is the modern, faster tools we currently have. Secondly, there has been a worldwide effort to make vaccine research, production, and distribution faster. And, of course, many people volunteered to participate in the studies.

    Scientists may have developed the vaccines faster than usual, but people can be assured that they were not rushed. After all, the scientific foundation for the vaccines came from the extensive research about SARS, COVID-19’s predecessor. Furthermore, clinical phases 1, 2, and 3 were done simultaneously to respond to the pandemic.

    Fear #2: Is the COVID Vaccine safe? I’m Worried About the Side Effects

    It’s quite natural to get concerned over the side effects of COVID-19 vaccines, especially after we received reports about severe allergic reactions and blood clotting incidences.

    But as concerned as we are, experts stand by this: The COVID vaccines are generally safe and no directly related vaccine deaths have been reported to date.

    In other words, the benefits of getting vaccinated outweigh the risk. Here’s why:

  • The most common reactions include fever, body aches, arm pain or heaviness, headache. These are not side effects that warrant worry but are just reactogenic effects of the vaccine- signs that the immune system is building protection with the help of the vaccine. They are not just expected, they are welcomed.
  • The most common reactions also resolve with rest, hydration and paracetamol if not spontaneously within 1-2days.
  • Allergic reactions are indeed possible, but the incidences are very, very rare. The most problematic symptoms of severe allergy also present on average within 10min of receiving the vaccine. Remember, doctors closely monitor you after injection.
  • People with existing allergies to dust, odors, oral medications, or food may get the jab. If you have a history of a severe allergic reaction (warranting an ER visit, with difficulty breathing or anaphylactic shock), talk to your doctor so that they can advise you on the next steps.
  • Staying in the vaccination facility for 30 minutes after getting the shot also helps detect allergic reactions and any immediate issues.
  • According to experts, getting a certain vaccine does not increase your risk of developing blood clots.
  • Fear #3: Is the COVID Vaccine safe? Some say I might get COVID-19 from the vaccine itself

    Another of the common fear about the COVID vaccine is getting the infection from it. Experts say you shouldn’t worry.  None of the available vaccines contain a live SARS-CoV2 virus that can cause an infection, , make you become a carrier, or make you test positive for COVID.

    But if getting COVID from the vaccine is impossible, how come some people test positive for the infection after they received their first dose?

    Doctors say they contracted the infection from another infected person or a contaminated object shortly before or after receiving the vaccine.

    You see, your body needs time to build protection. (Usually two weeks after completing the recommended series) While vaccines significantly reduce the possibility of getting COVID, the risk is still there, especially if you have received just one dose.

    But the good news is, most vaccines are 100% effective against severe COVID-19 symptoms that require hospital confinement or the use of mechanical ventilation.

    Fear #4: Is the COVID vaccine safe? I’m worried that the vaccine might change my DNA

    Discussing the common fears about the COVID vaccine will not be complete without talking about how they might change our DNA. This fear probably stems from vaccines that contain “mRNA.” This genetic material contains instruction to fight the COVID infection.

    People fear that the mRNA can enter the cell and make changes in our DNA found in the nucleus. If you’re worried about DNA changes, rest easy.

    According to experts, while the mRNA enters the cell to do their job, they do not enter the nucleus. This means they cannot interact with our DNA, making it impossible to alter our genes.

    Fear #5: Is the COVID vaccine safe regardless of brand? I’m waiting for the “most effective” vaccine

    Of course, the fear of not receiving the most effective vaccine is also there.

    Presented with two vaccines, one with an efficacy rate of 50% and the other 90%, it’s natural for us to prefer the latter. But doctors remind us that while the efficacy rate is important, they are not comparable between brands. After all, most vaccines are similar in effectiveness in preventing severe COVID-19 that warrants hospitalization.

    Efficacy rate refers to the reduction of disease in a clinical trial; effectiveness is how it performs in the real world. The bottom line is, a low efficacy rate doesn’t mean that it’s less effective in the real world.

    Fear #6: Is the COVID vaccine safe and effective? They say nothing changes after I get the vaccine  

    Common fears about the COVID vaccine include experiencing no change at all. People feel that they would be as hampered as they were before they didn’t have the vaccine yet, so why bother?

    When enough people get vaccinated, we look forward to being able to follow and enjoy revised recommendations for vaccinated individuals, as in countries with a higher vaccination percentage.

    In the US, vaccinated individuals can:

    • Gather indoors with vaccinated people without a mask and physical distancing.
    • Gather indoors with unvaccinated people without a mask and physical distancing provided they, and the people they live with, are not at risk of severe COVID.
    • Travel without swab tests in some areas or countries.

    We cannot adopt these measures yet because only a small percentage of our population are fully vaccinated to date. But we look forward to being able to do so in the future, that is, if we all do our part.

    common fears about the COVID vaccine

    The Bottom Line

    So is the COVID vaccine safe and effective? The COVID vaccine protects you from severe infection. So don’t let these common fears stop you from getting your shot once it’s available. Additionally, with the threat of COVID variants, which emerge due to ongoing transmission throughout the world, vaccines can help curb the case rates and ultimately, the pandemic.

    Learn more about Coronavirus here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Ika Villanueva Caperonce, MD

    Infectious Disease · Makati Medical Center

    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Sep 02, 2022

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