Covid-19 Vaccine Side Effects Myths vs Facts

Covid-19 vaccine myths facts

Since this pandemic started, it’s been one of the top news headlines. In the past few years, it has been considered one of the primary causes of death worldwide. This pandemic not just affects people physically but also makes them mentally ill. Social media also vastly spread the news about this disease and its vaccines and treatment. Out of them, some information is factual and valuable, but there is specific news that is just myths about of the Covid-19 Vaccine Side Effects, which creates fear in people’s minds. For example, it has been circulating in the news headlines that covid-19 vaccines can affect the female reproductive system. Still, no factual data is available regarding this aspect [1].

Covid-19 Vaccine Side Effects Myths Facts

Some common side effects occur when someone gets vaccinated for covid-19. Still, the public has also reported many anecdotal and odd adverse events related to covid-19 vaccines. Out of those anecdotal side effects, some are known to be caused by vaccines, but many usually don’t occur. Therefore, someone must have information regarding the side effects of these covid-19 vaccines. Still, it’s silly to believe in these anecdotal side effects. One should consult any authentic website or a healthcare professional to learn about the covid-19 vaccine side effects [2].

In this article, you will learn about various common side effects of the covid-19 vaccine, and along with that, you will also learn about anecdotal side effects related to this vaccine. You will also get to know about the facts and myths associated with a covid-19 vaccine as well.

General side effects associated with Covid-19 vaccines:

Some common side effects linked with the first or second dose of the vaccine are pain, swelling, fever, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, pain in joints, chest pain, shortness of breath, vomiting, swollen lymph nodes, and feeling unwell. These symptoms also occur in other types of vaccination, such as the flu vaccine. However, most of these symptoms don’t need any treatment. They go away on their own in a few days [3]. Similarly, headaches and muscle aches don’t need emergency care and can be resolved independently [4].

But in some cases, a few severe covid-19 vaccine side effects have been reported, like myocarditis, thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), and Guillain barré syndrome that can cause severe problems.

Anecdotal side effects of Covid-19 vaccines:

Many side effects are linked with all vaccines, including the Johnson vaccine, Pfizer-BioNTechModerna, and AstraZeneca. All of the covid-19 vaccines have similar side effects, including redness, swelling at the injection site, tiredness, headache, and fever. However, many people are vaccinated and reported many other potential side effects that the doctor or healthcare provider is still wondering about.

There are five frequently discussed side effects about which no such data is currently available [5].

Lymphadenopathy

Lymphadenopathy/Swollen lymph nodes are considered a side effect associated with all types of covid-19 vaccines. Some studies reported that this side effect usually appeared several days after vaccination. Lymph nodes are a crucial part of our immune system that helps WBCs (white blood cells) fight against infections. If the swelling remains or is associated with other health issues, one should have to contact their doctor so that symptoms can be reduced with early treatment [6].

COVID arm

“Covid arm” is the side effect that people say is associated with the Moderna vaccine. Studies reported that no critical information for redness, itchiness, or hypersensitive skin is available. This side effect appears 4 to 11 days after vaccination and will last almost eight days.

 In covid arm, the patient may experience weakening of arm muscles. The symptoms can be related to other muscles of the body. These findings are sporadic and are not scientifically associated with covid-19 vaccines.

Covid-19 Vaccine Side Effects Myths vs Facts - 18/05/2024

However, suppose this side effect occurs soon after vaccination and spreads in the body. In that case, it can cause a severe allergic reaction that must be treated immediately [7].

Skin reactions

No clear evidence is available regarding the causation of eczema or other skin reactions after receiving any covid-19 vaccine. Swelling is one of the rarely occurring side effects in the early clinical trials of the Moderna vaccine. Still, all those patients have similar symptoms on the flu vaccine.

It is reported that Moderna, like other mRNA vaccines, can cause inflammation because of the triggered immune response interaction with the outermost layer of skin. However, this is not reported to be the verified side effect of covid-19 vaccines. Still, various clinical trials must test the possibility of this side effect’s occurrence.

Note: The mRNA vaccine is a unique type of vaccine that utilises a copy of virus mRNA (a unit of genetic makeup) to produce an immune response in the human body.

Vivid dreams

Many say they experience vivid dreams after getting vaccinated, which is also considered an anecdotal side effect. However, it may be because after getting the vaccine, you get good sleep. Fatigue/ tiredness is a side effect of the covid-19 vaccine, so it may cause a person to sleep longer than usual. During rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, people experience heavy dreaming. Longer sleep duration increases your likelihood of experiencing vivid dreams [8].

Menstrual cycle changes

Currently, another myth regarding post-vaccination side effects is that it changes the menstrual cycle or causes menstrual disorders and vaginal bleeding. But no evidence is available regarding the association of these side effects of any of these vaccines. Females are concerned about whether intense cramps to heavy period is the side effects of these vaccines or not. Still, there is no current evidence regarding this aspect, so it’s purely anecdotal. There are no long-term side effects linked with these vaccines; they don’t affect fertility in females and are safe to be used by pregnant women.

It’s essential to remember that covid-19 vaccines are proven safe and effective by many international health departments. However, many of these anecdotal side effects had not been caused by covid-19 vaccines, so it’s essential to look at some authentic sources to learn about the side effects of these vaccines [9].

Myths vs Facts related to the Covid-19 Vaccine:

Many myths are associated with the vaccines for Covid-19. Some of them are as follows:

1.      One myth about the covid-19 vaccine is that it can affect fertility in females.

Fact: The fact is that it doesn’t affect fertility in females.

The Covid-19 vaccine provides immunity by making the coronavirus spike protein in the body that helps to treat this disease. On social media, it was reported that a spike protein called syncytin-1 is similar to the coronavirus spike protein, which is involved in the placenta attachment during pregnancy. Therefore, people think these vaccines fight against spike protein and can affect fertility. But researchers said these two spike proteins are different from each other and vaccines will not affect fertility in females [10].

2.      The second myth is that after getting Covid-19, one doesn’t need to have the vaccine.

Fact: Research suggests that if you have Covid-19 but are not vaccinated, your chance of getting the infection again is increased than those who are infected and vaccinated. The study shows that immunity against Covid-19 increases more in vaccinated individuals than non-vaccinated individuals [11].

Covid-19 Vaccine Side Effects Myths vs Facts - 18/05/2024

3.      Another myth is that as the Covid-19 vaccine is developed by researchers in a hurry so is not very effective and safe to use.

Fact: Several studies reported that covid-19 vaccines are almost 95% effective with no severe side effects. These vaccines were developed quickly because China quickly shared genetic information about this virus, which helped scientists develop the vaccine promptly. In addition, due to many resources and most of the vaccines being formed using mRNA, these vaccines were created faster [12].

4.      Another myth is that if you are vaccinated, you don’t have to wear a mask and follow precautions.

Fact: Even if you are vaccinated, it is recommended that you wear a mask [13].

5.      One more myth is that if you are vaccinated, you will get Covid-19.

Fact: The fact related to this myth is that if you are vaccinated, that vaccine will not make you get Covid-19. These vaccines are mRNA-based, which helps your cells produce spike protein that will help your body fight against the virus and not cause covid-19 because it doesn’t have a complete virus strain.

6.      People think the Covid-19 vaccine’s side effects are severe and dangerous.

Fact: These vaccines have side effects but are not very dangerous. Some common side effects include muscle and body aches, headaches, and fever that last only for one day. Still, if one has some persistent symptoms even after two days, then one should have to contact their doctor.

7.      The Covid-19 vaccine administration can cause alteration to your DNA.

Fact: The Covid-19 vaccines contain m-RNA that can’t enter the cells’ nucleus. It causes the host cells to make more spike protein to activate immunity but doesn’t affect host DNA.

8.      The Covid-19 vaccine was synthesised with some contentious substances.

Fact: These vaccines were FDA-authorized, containing pure mRNA and other standard ingredients like fats, salts, and sugar. These vaccines don’t have any fetal tissue or material that can harm individuals.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, many myths and anecdotes about side effects are linked with various covid-19 vaccines. Still, a person needs to learn about the side effects of these vaccines from some authentic source. Covid-19 will cause only a few common side effects as caused by all other types of vaccines. They don’t cause vivid dreams, changes in the menstrual cycle, and infertility. One should rely on authentic websites to get information regarding vaccines, their mode of action, and learn about the vaccine’s side effects.

References:

1. Vivid dreams and COVID arms: The weird vaccine “side effects” you’re experiencing are likely harmless [Internet]. Healthy Debate. 2021 [cited 2022 Oct 26]. Available from: https://healthydebate.ca/2021/06/topic/covid-vaccine-side-effects-dreams/#:~:text=Fatigue%20is%20a%20common%20side

2. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Vaccines [Internet]. www.who.int. 2022 [cited 2022 Oct 26]. Available from: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub/q-a-detail/coronavirus-disease-(covid-19)-vaccines?adgroupsurvey=

3. CDC. Possible Side Effects After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2021 [cited 2022 Oct 26]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html

4. NHS. Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines side effects and safety [Internet]. nhs.uk. 2021 [cited 2022 Oct 26]. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/safety-and-side-effects/

5. Pruitt D. COVID-19 vaccine and lingering symptoms [Internet]. OSF HealthCare Blog. 2021 [cited 2022 Oct 26]. Available from: https://www.osfhealthcare.org/blog/covid-19-vaccine-and-lingering-symptoms/

6. says N. Incidental illnesses threaten to give Covid-19 vaccines a lousy rap [Internet]. STAT. 2020 [cited 2022 Oct 26]. Available from: https://www.statnews.com/2020/12/28/chance-illnesses-after-covid-19-vaccinations-could-test-public-confidence-even-if-the-problems-are-unrelated/

7. CDC. COVID-19 Vaccines and Serious Allergic Reactions [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2022 [cited 2022 Oct 26]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/allergic-reaction.html#:~:text=These%20rashes%20can%20start%20a

8. MacBride K. The scientific reason why your dreams are so weird after getting the vaccine [Internet]. Inverse. [cited 2022 Oct 26]. Available from: https://www.inverse.com/mind-body/intense-dreams-covid19-vaccination

9. Do COVID-19 vaccines affect menstruation and fertility? [Internet]. www.gavi.org. [cited 2022 Oct 26]. Available from: https://www.gavi.org/vaccineswork/do-covid-19-vaccines-affect-menstruation-and-fertility

10. Coronavirus and Pregnancy: What You Should Know [Internet]. www.hopkinsmedicine.org. [cited 2022 Oct 26]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-covid-19-what-pregnant-women-need-to-know

11. Cavanaugh AM, Spicer KB, Thoroughman D, Glick C, Winter K. Reduced Risk of Reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 After COVID-19 Vaccination — Kentucky, May–June 2021. MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2021 Aug 6;70(32).

12. Kelen GD, Maragakis L. COVID-19 Vaccines: Myth Versus Fact [Internet]. www.hopkinsmedicine.org. 2021 [cited 2022 Oct 26]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccines-myth-versus-fact

13. CDC. COVID-19 and Your Health [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2020 [cited 2022 Oct 26]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fvaccines%2Ffully-vaccinated.html

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Dr. Fatima Tariq

Hi there. This is Dr. Fatima Tariq. I did my MBBS from one of the prestigious medical schools in my country. My years in medical college have helped me to polish my writing skills to perfection. I have been working as a freelancer for 4 years now. My writing is very concise, easy-to-read, and well-researched. My biggest priority is conveying the information in an informative and professional way.

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