Houston doctor breaks down COVID-19 vaccine myths

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A lot of people worry the COVID-19 vaccine came out too fast or that it can give you the virus. Managing Physician for Immunization Practices at Kelsey Seybold Dr. Melanie Mouzoon broke down some of the myths you may have heard about regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.

MYTH: It's not possible to make a safe and effective vaccine in a year.

"It was developed with all due concern and haste, but not being rushed, and what really was rushed was all the administrative procedures that sometimes delay approvals," Dr. Mouzoon said.

MYTH- The COVID-19 vaccine will give you the virus.

"We actually want the vaccine to have some minor side effects. I know that sounds strange," Dr. Mouzoon said. "But the point is that if you have a little low grade fever, or a sore arm, or just some chills and some achiness for a few hours, that's a good sign your immune system stood up and paid attention to the vaccine, and you had a good immune response."

Some common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine will be similar to other vaccines. Think of a flu shot. Often your arm hurts at the site of the injection in your muscle.

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Studies found that while the Pfizer vaccine had severe side effects for some, they were incredibly rare and mostly temporary.

MYTH- The vaccine will put an end to the pandemic completely.

"It takes at least 75% of the population to be immunized with a pretty effective vaccine before you start to have herd immunity," Dr. Mouzoon said. "And so we will have to wear our masks until we have 75% of the population either vaccinated or already infected and recovered from this virus. So that will be a while because it takes a while to get a shot in 300 million arms."

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In a study done by COVID Collaborative, they found if the coronavirus vaccine was offered free of charge, fewer than half of Black people and only 66% of Latino people said they would definitely or probably take it, leaving a large gap.

MYTH- There has not been testing of different racial or ethnic groups.

"There really aren't a lot of racial differences in our response to vaccines. The difference that the virus is having on different populations really reflect structural racism, like the kind of jobs people have or if they can work from home, how crowded their living conditions are, how likely they are to be exposed to people who are sick and are unable to be tested," Dr. Mouzoon said.

What we do know is that the Pfizer vaccine shows that it is safe in people over 16, works equally well in men and women, and works equally well among people of different races and ethnicities.

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