We understand that there is lots of misinformation online around the COVID-19 vaccine and we wanted to put your fears to rest with a handy guide, debunking some of the biggest myths.
Myths & Facts about the Vaccine
Myth: The vaccine is unsafe.
Truth: The HSE only uses vaccines when they meet the required standards of safety and effectiveness. While the work to develop COVID-19 vaccines has moved much faster than usual, it has gone through all the usual steps needed to develop and approve a safe and effective vaccine.
In order to be approved for use, the COVID-19 vaccine went through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through, following international standards of safety.
Myth: The vaccine can give you COVID-19.
Truth: The vaccine cannot give you the virus. It is possible to have caught the virus before getting your vaccine and not realise you have the symptoms until after your vaccination appointment. When you have any common symptoms, it is important to self-isolate (stay in your room) and arrange a free test to find out if you have the virus. If you have a fever which starts more than two days after you get the vaccine or lasts longer than two days, you should self-isolate and ask a GP to arrange a test for you. If you have symptoms after the first dose, you still need to have the second dose. While you may get some protection from the first dose, having the second dose will give you the best protection against the virus.
Myth: If I have already had COVID-19, I don’t need to get the vaccine.
Truth: Even if you have already had COVID-19, you could get it again. This vaccine will reduce your risk of getting COVID-19 again. Even if you do get it again, the vaccine can reduce the seriousness of your symptoms.
Myth: If I get the vaccine, I don’t need to follow safety guidelines.
Truth: We do not know yet if having the vaccine stops the spread of virus to others. It is important that we continue to follow public health advice on how to stop the spread of the virus even when we have received the vaccine.
Myth: I’m not at risk for severe complications of COVID-19 so I don’t need the vaccine.
Truth: Regardless of your personal risk level, the vaccine is vital. No matter how the virus may personally impact you, you can still spread it to people who are more vulnerable and at-risk. Furthermore, it is impossible to anticipate how the virus may impact you to it is important to give yourself the protection you need.
Myth: If I get the vaccine, I am at a higher risk of other illnesses.
Truth: There is no evidence to suggest that getting the vaccine increases your risk of other illnesses.
Other Vaccine Information
What is the COVID-19 vaccine?
A vaccine is a substance that should improve immunity (protection) to a particular disease. The COVID-19 vaccine will offer you protection from COVID-19. If people are vaccinated, it should also reduce the numbers who become seriously ill or even die from COVID-19 in our community. It will teach your immune system how to protect you from diseases. It is much safer for your immune system to learn how to protect you through vaccination than by getting COVID-19.
Why is it important to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine should protect you from the serious complications of COVID-19. The aim is to protect people and reduce the illness and deaths caused by this virus.
I have COVID-19 now, should I get the vaccine?
No. You should delay getting vaccinated until you recover from COVID-19. Do this for:
at least four weeks after you first notice symptoms or four weeks since you tested positive for COVID-19
How is the vaccine given?
The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm. It will only take a few minutes
How many doses of the vaccine will I need?
You will need two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to get the best protection. You need to get the second dose 21 days (three full weeks) after the first dose.
Learn more about COVID-19 and the vaccine over at the HSE website. Read our tips for minding your mental health during COVID-19 here. Find out everything you need to know about the vaccine from Professor Luke O’Neill here.