Atlanta doctors tell the real about the vaccine

Atlanta doctors bombarded with questions about the COVID 19 vaccine want to set the record straight about the myths so many people might have heard about what the vaccine does when it enters your body.

A few of the most common false rumors …

    • The vaccine alters your DNA.
    • The vaccine contains the live virus that causes COVID-19.
    • When I get the vaccine, I can travel.

“Every day our patients turn to our medical team to get answers about the highly anticipated COVID-19 vaccine,” explains Dr. Benjamin Barlow, Chief Medical Officer of American Family Care (AFC), a national healthcare network, with a local clinic.  “Many patients ask us for questions about something they read online or a video they watched. They come to us with questions like ‘Is the vaccine unsafe because it was released so quickly,’ ‘Does the vaccine actually contain the coronavirus?’ or ‘Can I stop wearing a mask now that a vaccine is out?’  and our healthcare providers quickly clear up confusion by sharing solid medical facts.”       


  1. If you get vaccinated, they inject the COVID-19 live virus into your body.  FALSE   

The vaccines authorized for emergency use do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19, so it cannot make you sick with COVID-19.  The vaccines are made with mRNA technology which works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19.  Sometimes when this happens, the process can cause symptoms like a fever or muscle aches.  This is normal – and most importantly proof that the vaccine is working, building immunity to COVID-19.

  1. You are not fully vaccinated until weeks after you receive a second dose.  TRUE

One shot does not do the trick. The CDC states you must get two doses for the vaccine to work.   You must wait to get the second dose three to four weeks after the first vaccination. Then it will take several weeks for the vaccination to build immunity in your system.

  1. Testing positive for COVID-19 means you can skip the vaccine.   FALSE

COVID-19 is so new, no one knows for sure how long natural immunity might last.  Right now, evidence suggests reinfection is uncommon within the 90 days after someone is first infected with the coronavirus.

  1. You can alter your DNA if you take either vaccine.   FALSE

Both vaccines authorized for emergency use (Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech) are classified as mRNA vaccines.  Messenger RNA or mRNA vaccines do not change your DNA or interact with your DNA in any way.  This kind of vaccine teaches your cells how to make a protein that triggers immunity.   The mRNA does not enter the nucleus of a cell where DNA is kept.

  1. Once I get a shot, I still need to wear a mask and stay six feet away from othersTRUE

Keep wearing a mask, washing your hands and social distancing.  Not everyone is able to get the vaccine at the same time, so it’s still important to protect yourself and others.

  1. The vaccines were released so fast, they are unsafe.  FALSE

The vaccines being used have gone through rigorous studies to ensure they are as safe as possible. The CDC requires clinical trials for all vaccines before they can be authorized for use and the potential benefits of a vaccine must outweigh the potential risks before the CDC gives approval.

  1. Just because I have the vaccine does not mean I can book a vacation.  TRUE

The director of the CDC went on record during a recent CNN Town Hall and said this is not the time to travel – domestically or internationally.  It is still possible to get infected and not have symptoms before you receive the second dose of the vaccine.  The maximum immunity begins 10 days to two weeks following the SECOND dose.

AFC’S medical providers are anxious to share this vital especially as more and more people roll up their sleeves and take the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.


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