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Visit our COVID-19 vaccine information page or call 203.276.7300 for an appointment.

Walk-up vaccinations are now available at 1 Elmcroft Road, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. No appointment needed. As of May 13, 2021, we will offer COVID-19 vaccinations for ages 12-15.

Published on February 03, 2021

The COVID-19 Vaccine: Myths, Truths and the Bottom Line

Asha K. Shah, MD, MS, Associate Director of Infectious Diseases

Committed to Your Safety

Stamford Health is dedicated to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and keeping you informed about the latest news regarding the vaccine.

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Getting a vaccine, especially a new one, is a personal decision. But stopping a pandemic requires the use of all tools available, including the COVID-19 vaccine.

While many people are eager to receive the vaccine, there are still an astounding number who are either hesitant or against receiving it for various reasons. Stamford Health’s infectious diseases experts weigh in on some of the most misunderstood beliefs about the COVID-19 vaccine.

The myth: The research and development of the vaccine was very rushed, so we can’t trust its safety and effectiveness.

The truth:

  • The pandemic did make the COVID-19 vaccine an urgent need. However, the mRNA technology behind the vaccines has been in development for almost two decades; it was created to help respond quickly to new pandemic illnesses, such as COVID-19.
  • The developers did not skip any steps. They made the vaccine as the trials were taking place, instead of waiting until after the trials were completed.
  • Social media helped companies find and engage volunteers quickly, many who were willing to help with COVID-19 vaccine research.

  • Because COVID-19 is so contagious and widespread, it didn’t take long to see if the vaccine worked for the study participants who were vaccinated.

The bottom line:

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 95% effective and studies reported no serious or life-threatening side effects.

The myth: The side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are dangerous, so it's not worth the risk.

The truth:

  • The vaccine can have side effects, but the vast majority are short term and not serious or dangerous.
  • These are signs that the vaccine is working to stimulate your immune system.

The bottom line:

This is a very safe vaccine with a less-than-1-percent chance of severe side effects. Side effects that do occur are short lived (24-48 hours) and respond to Tylenol or NSAIDs

The myth: I've already recovered from COVID-19. Therefore, I'm immune and do not need a vaccine since I can't get it again. Because I've had COVID-19, the vaccine will just give me more severe side effects.

The truth:

  • Based on information available now, immunity after having COVID-19 seems to be short lived.
  • It is possible to get COVID-19 again, especially with the new variant strain.

The bottom line:

Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection is possible, you should get the vaccine even if you’ve had COVID-19 before.

The myth: The vaccine won't work for me because of my cultural background or beliefs. In fact, I don't believe the vaccines were tested in minority groups.

The truth:

  • Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine trials included a good proportion of individuals from ethnically diverse backgrounds.
  • Vaccine protection was the same across all races, genders and ages.

The bottom line:

There is evidence that minority racial and ethnic groups are at a greater risk for COVID-19 infection, all the more reason to get vaccinated if this applies to you.

The myth: The vaccine can affect women's fertility. I heard the spike protein on the coronavirus is the same as a spike protein involved in the growth and attachment of the placenta during pregnancy. That means getting the vaccine would cause my body to fight a protein and therefore impact fertility.

The truth:

  • The two spike proteins mentioned above are very different from one another, so scientifically this cannot at all be true.
  • Getting the vaccine will not affect the fertility of women trying to get pregnant, including through IVF.

The bottom line:

Getting COVID-19 can have serious impacts on pregnancy and the mother’s health. Getting vaccinated can significantly reduce that risk. This fact is supported by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The myth: If I still have to wear my mask and practice social distancing after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, then there's no point in getting it. My day-to-day actions won't change, so why bother?

The truth:

  • It is not clear if people who are vaccinated can still be asymptomatic carriers and potentially spread COVID-19 to others, even if they themselves don’t get sick.
  • It is still very important to practice the 4 Ws, even if you do get vaccinated. Wear your mask, Wash your hands, Watch your distance and Wipe down surfaces.

The bottom line:

The vaccine will prevent you from developing moderate to severe COVID-19 illness.
Right now, the vaccine is available to certain eligible members of the community in Connecticut, and this will expand to more groups in the coming weeks to months. When that happens, at least 70% of the population will need to be vaccinated in order for us to put an end to COVID-19, once and for all.

Where can I learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine?

  • If you have specific questions or concerns about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, please have a conversation with your primary care physician.
  • For answers to more questions, and to see if you're eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine right now, visit this page.

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