AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Social media is flooded with discussions about the COVID-19 vaccine… and misinformation about the shot is everywhere. We went to Facebook and asked for your thoughts on the vaccine and took some of those concerns to local doctors.
Many who engaged with us on social media commented saying not enough time went into developing the technology for this vaccine. But medical experts say mRNA vaccine research has actually been ongoing for some time.
“mRNA technology is decades old. It may be the first vaccine used in mass numbers, but the technology has been around for decades,” assistant vice president of strategic planning and pharmacy services at AU Health, Dr. Joshua Wyche said.
Another concern is regarding how the vaccine may effect fertility. Leading obstetrician and gynecology groups recommend the vaccine for pregnant women, and women who hope to become pregnant.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, “Claims linking COVID-19 vaccines to infertility are unfounded and have no scientific evidence supporting them.”
“Basically if you’re pregnant, you have a greater risk of having an issue if you get COVID, than if you get vaccinated to prevent COVID,” Newnan Family Medicine Associates Dr. Cecil Bennett said.
Some Facebook users say they decided against getting the vaccine because it won’t guarantee that they never contract COVID.
“You may still possibly get infected with COVID, but it will be mild disease,” Dr. Bennett said. “It’s not an all or a none. People expect this to be 100 percent you’ll never get COVID, and that really was not the case with any vaccine we’ve ever had.”
While COVID breakthrough cases are uncommon, they do happen, but symptoms are much less severe.
“When we look at the deaths so far this year due to COVID, over 99 percent of the people who have expired due to COVID are unvaccinated,” Dr. Bennett said.
Georgia health officials say hospitals and emergency departments are overwhelmed by an influx of COVID-19 patients.
“If you’re not vaccinated, because of this delta variant, it’s very likely you will get COVID before the year is over,” Dr. Bennett said.
When discussing the COVID-19 vaccine with friends and family, Dr. Bennett and Dr. Wyche say it’s important to be open-minded and non judgmental. Click here for the CDC’s field guide for addressing misinformation.