April 22, 2021
As you prepare for your COVID-19 vaccination*, it helps to arm yourself with the most accurate information. That's why we've gathered common myths about the vaccines along with the facts to give you greater peace of mind. You can find additional myths about the vaccines and the facts behind them, in the first part of our COVID-19 Vaccines Myths and Facts series.
Myth: The vaccines were only given Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), so they have not been through typical extended testing.
Fact: The current FDA-authorized vaccines went through a full testing and review process, but at an accelerated pace due to the public health emergency of the pandemic. This included three phases of clinical trials, involving tens of thousands of volunteers to test vaccine effectiveness and safety. Any new vaccine goes through this same testing protocol. After testing, manufacturers must submit adequate clinical, nonclinical, and manufacturing data gained from the development and testing process for review. Then, FDA scientists, as well as independent scientific and public health experts, review the data to determine whether the potential benefits of a product outweigh the potential risks. As vaccines are administered outside of a clinical trial environment, scientists and doctors look carefully at all reported side effects, and use the systems that are in place to ensure the available vaccines are safe.
Myth: The side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines are severe.
Fact: There is a possibility of moderate side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines, including tiredness, chills, or a fever. You may also experience pain and redness at the vaccination site. These side effects are expected and may last anywhere from a few days to a week. They do not mean you have COVID-19 — they are normal signs that your body is building immunity. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized vaccines do not give you COVID-19.
Myth: I should wait for more information about how the vaccines work against the new variants of COVID-19.
Fact: The available data suggests the vaccines authorized by the FDA are at least partially effective against COVID-19 variants because they trigger a broad and robust immune response.
Myth: I'll need to receive an annual COVID-19 vaccine.
Fact: Research is still being done on how long COVID-19 vaccines provide protection outside of a clinical trial environment, so it's not yet known if an annual or booster shot will be necessary. Even if an annual or booster vaccination is recommended in the future, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends receiving an initial vaccination as soon as they are eligible.
Myth: I already had COVID-19, so I do not need to be vaccinated.
Fact: While previous COVID-19 infection may provide a degree of protection against reinfection, it is unknown how long that protection lasts. While research is still being done, vaccination may provide longer lasting protection against COVID-19, in addition to at least partial protection against new COVID-19 variants.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility or miscarriage.
Fact: There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines cause miscarriage or interfere with the development of the placenta during pregnancy. There is also no evidence that the vaccines will affect fertility. In fact, a recent study concluded that pregnant people who received the vaccine had similar immune responses to people who were not pregnant. Additionally, it was found that vaccine-generated antibodies could be passed to unborn children through the placenta or through breast milk. People who are pregnant, wanting to become pregnant, or who are breastfeeding have the option to be vaccinated.
Myth: I can't afford to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Fact: You will not need to pay anything to receive one of the FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines. Your vaccine provider may ask for your insurance information, but they cannot charge you for the vaccine. If someone is asking you to pay in order to receive a vaccine, it is likely a scam. Learn about vaccine scams and how to report them.
For more updates and information on COVID-19 and the vaccines, visit anthem.com/coronavirus.
U.S. Food & Drug Administration website: fda.gov.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: cdc.gov.
Mayo Clinic website: Mayoclinichealthsystem.org.
American Medical Association website: Ama-assn.org.
*Please visit the CDC's website for more information about the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, including information about a very small number of reports involving a rare and severe type of blood clot in people who have received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. No one has reported similar blood clotting events associated with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. If you have questions about COVID-19 vaccines, please talk to your doctor.