Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – Organizations trying to persuade their workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine may face pushback due to the many myths being circulated, especially on social media sites. A survey of U.S. residents conducted in March showed nearly half the respondents believe at least one conspiracy theory about the vaccines.
“That’s a lot of people,” said Autumn Brennan, director of Communications for Axiom Medical. “So we really need to debunk a lot of this and keep it in our constant stream of consciousness to just do our research and our due diligence.”
With a growing number of inaccuracies about the vaccines scaring off some employees, Brennan was among the panelists at a livestream event this week that explored myths about the vaccines and ways employers can parse out and communicate the truths to their workers.
“The misinformation is very, very sophisticated. Even professional physicians and nurses can get duped into believing something,” said Peter George Matos, DO, CEO and founder of Traekos Health LLC. “If somebody on YouTube says they are a physician, check them out. Are they Board certified? Just because someone says they are an expert doesn’t mean they are. Go to trusted sources.”
Examples cited of sources that investigate and bust some of the myths, especially as they pertain to certain populations are Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, or CHOP; the American College of Rheumatology; and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists.
Among the most popular concerns and myths are the following:
Vaccine Magnet Challenge
Videos showing people sticking a magnet to their arm after receiving the vaccine have prompted some speculation that the vaccines are injecting various metals, or even a microchip into the recipient. Experts point out that the typical dose of any of the 3 prevalent vaccines are not big enough to squeeze in a typical microchip.
“You can look at what the ingredients are in the vaccines; there’s no metal in the vaccines at all,” Matos said. “With the magnet challenge, remember when we get an MRI our bodies already have some level of metals in us — elements, that’s why you do an MRI. If you think this through and rationalize this and get beyond the click bait or whatever video they show, break it down. What’s in these vaccines? What do we know about the human body already, and what do we know about the use of current technologies like MRIs?”
The Vaccine Will Give You COVID-19
“This is a good one,” said Scott Cherry, DO, chief Medical Officer at Axiom Medical. “As vaccines have evolved, the original vaccines were called live virus vaccines, and so there is a potential in those that would create a potential risk, a small risk, of being infected. With the COVID vaccine they actually do not have any active component of the virus. So really there is no risk of infection.”
Concerns Over Side Effects
“We’re running a lot of vaccine clinics and are seeing that like any vaccine it can cause mild side effects, such as low-grade fever or pain or redness at the injection site. But the majority of the reactions are mild and go away within a few days,” said Dara Wheeler, chief Marketing Officer for Axiom Medical. “Very rarely are there any long term or serious side effects.”
The Vaccine Will Change Your DNA
“There are three types of vaccines. All are delivery systems,” Matos said. “The reality is they are just delivery systems. These technologies have been around for a very long time. That’s the other thing, there’s a sense these were developed quickly. Not true at all … I’ve worked with these technologies for many years.”
FDA Approval was Rushed
“It’s a common concern,” Cherry said. “Previous to COVID it took a number of years for a therapeutic to go through the FDA approval process. Fortunately, with Project Warp Speed a lot of time challenges were reduced by having teams already set up and waiting for these applications to be reviewed, having networks already created for the clinical trials.”
Vaccines Were Developed with, or Contain Controversial Substances
“That was specific to the J&J vaccine,” Matos said. “The misinformation that there were fetal components, cells used to make it — that is false. What is true is there are 293 cells; they were from, we don’t know, from either an aborted fetus or miscarriage that were fetal cells from 1972 in Denmark or the Netherlands that were immortalized and these cell lines were propagated again and again. It was a one-time thing that they took that tissue and kept propagating the same tissue from 1972. What these cells are used for is to test vaccines, how well a vaccine works in our system. That’s been standard.”
Matos advises anyone who is uncomfortable with these facts to talk to a clergy person or get either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, neither of which used the propagated cell lines.
Should a Former COVID-19 Patient Get a Vaccine
“Absolutely,” said Brennan. “Due to the severe health risks, it’s important to get the vaccine no matter what … natural immunity may not last very long. When in doubt, cover yourself and get vaccinated.”