December 2021

· 6 min read

7 Myths Driving Young Adults’ Hesitancy Surrounding COVID-19 Vaccines

What’s causing young adults’ resistance to getting vaccinated for COVID-19? Experts dispel the seven most common myths.

Multiethnic group of friends walking at the park - 7 Myths Driving Young Adults’ Hesitancy Over the COVID-19 Vaccine | NSF International

As we approach the holiday season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges all eligible adults to get vaccinated, especially if many generations are gathering together for celebrations.

Even though unvaccinated adults are more than six times more likely to test positive for the virus and more than 11 times more likely to die from it than those who are fully vaccinated, an alarming number of young adults are hesitant to get the jab. According to a recent study by the University of California San Francisco, one in four unvaccinated people between 18 and 25 said they “probably will not” or “definitely will not” receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Driving this reluctance is the youthful perception of invincibility and fears of potential side effects, along with myriad myths.

Because accurate vaccine information is critical and can help dispel such myths and rumors, we turned to the experts at the CDC to explore this hesitancy.

Here Are Seven Common Myths and the True Facts That Contradict Them:

  1. 1

    The COVID-19 Vaccine Changes Your DNA

    No, the COVID-19 vaccine does not change or interact with your DNA in any way. The vaccine delivers instructions (genetic material) to your cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the material never enters the cells’ nuclei, which is where your DNA is kept.

  2. 2

    The Vaccine Makes You Sick

    The vaccine teaches your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever, but that is usually temporary. These symptoms are typical signs that your body is building protection against the virus.

  3. 3

    The Vaccine Contains Microchips

    The vaccine does not have microchips. Vaccines do not track your movements; they work by stimulating your immune system to produce antibodies, exactly as it would if you were exposed to the disease. By getting vaccinated, you develop immunity to the disease without having to first contract it.

  4. 4

    The Vaccine Makes You Magnetic

    Getting vaccinated will not make you magnetic, including at the vaccination site, which is usually your arm. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain ingredients that can produce an electromagnetic field at the site of your injection. All COVID-19 vaccines are free from metals.

  5. 5

    The Vaccine Can Affect Your Fertility

    Currently, no evidence shows that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems and affect your ability to get pregnant. The truth is that the COVID-19 vaccine encourages the body to create copies of the spike protein found on the coronavirus’s surface. This “teaches” the body’s immune system to fight the virus that has that specific spike protein on it.

  6. 6

    If You’ve Already Had COVID-19, You Don’t Need a Vaccine

    Not true. Evidence continues to indicate that receiving a vaccine is the best protection against getting COVID-19, whether you’ve already had the disease or not.

  7. 7

    The Vaccine Cannot Be Trusted

    Scientific studies found that the two initial vaccines are about 95% effective — and reported no serious or life-threatening side effects.

In addition to dispelling the myths, health officials advise that there are many reasons it is important to be vaccinated. Anthony S. Fauci, the United States’ top infectious-disease expert, said that COVID-19 could be reduced to an endemic illness in the country by next year — but only if more unvaccinated people get vaccinated and more fully vaccinated people get booster doses.

“It’s about creating a ‘critical mass’ of people not likely to spread the infection, thereby offering broad public protection,” added Paul Medeiros, NSF public health expert. “It’s also about reducing the burden on the health care system. Important surgeries are being delayed; patients are being shipped out of state (or out of province) for critical care. Frankly, people are dying of non-COVID-19-related illnesses because COVID-19 remains so prevalent.”

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Sources:

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html

www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X(21)00285-8/fulltext

www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/covid-19-vaccines-us.html#Appendix-C

www.reuters.com/world/us/fauci-says-us-can-reach-covid-endemic-level-rather-than-pandemic-next-year-2021-11-16/