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Trust Index: COVID-19 vaccine myths

HOUSTON – It’s a huge question. One that could potentially be a life and death question that could determine the future of your health. Are you going to get vaccinated against COVID-19? It’s something we’ll all have to decide on. But there are some groups out there who want to steer you in one direction - based on fear.

Several Anti-Vaccine groups have released videos claiming some people got Bell’s Palsy after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Another person in the videos claimed the vaccine would somehow alter their DNA. We are putting the biggest COVID-19 myths and fears through the KPRC 2 Trust Index with the help of two infectious disease experts.

Dr. Linda Yancey, infectious disease specialist at Memorial Hermann Hospital, and Dr. Dirk Sostman, chief academic officer at Houston Methodist.

Fear: Getting the vaccine will cause you to get Bell’s Palsy

“Out of 35,000 people who received the vaccine, five developed bell’s palsy. But this is the rate of bell’s palsy you would expect to see in the general population,” Dr. Linda Yancey said. “So, that just reflects the fact that this vaccine was tested in tens of thousands of people.”

What the doctor is saying is that, in any group that large, a group of 35 thousand people, medical studies show a small number of people will develop Bell’s Palsy, regardless of whether they took the Covid 19 vaccine or not.

Therefore, The Trust Index considers that fear to be not true.

Not True

After review, we've found this information is Not True.

What is the Trust Index?

Fear: Being injected with the vaccine can actually alter your DNA

“That’s totally false,” said Dr. Dirk Sostman. “The vaccine contains R-DNA, which is kind of like the messenger that the DNA sends to the DNA in your body. It’s not going to go back and incorporate in your DNA. Typically, the life of messenger RNA like this is a few hours.”

The Trust Index also considers this to be not true.

Not True

After review, we've found this information is Not True.

What is the Trust Index?

Fear: Getting the COVID vaccine can give you the COVID-19 virus

Because some people have reported experiencing mild, temporary side effects like a low-grade fever, body aches, and chills., there is the fear that getting the COVID vaccine could give you the COVID-19 virus.

“That is absolutely untrue. That is false,” said Dr. Yancey. “This is not a live virus vaccine. It’s not even a killed virus vaccine. It’s an MRA vaccine, so it’s impossible to get COVID from this vaccine.”

Once again, the Trust Index labels this fear not true.

Not True

After review, we've found this information is Not True.

What is the Trust Index?

Fear: Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not get the vaccine

“Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should get the vaccine,” said Dr. Sostman. “We don’t have any actual data on the folks in those groups but certainly pregnancy is a risk factor for a bad outcome from COVID-19. The recommendation from the specialists in these areas is that folks who are pregnant, thinking of becoming pregnant or breastfeeding should get vaccinated.”

Because pregnant women were not included in these vaccine trials, the Trust Index says to be careful on this one. In other words, before getting the vaccine, pregnant women should consult their doctor first.

Be Careful

After reviewing this topic, we've found some issues - Be Careful.

What is the Trust Index?

Do you have a question for our Trust Index Team?

We are always working to bring you the latest information on the COVID vaccine. Do you have a question or concern for our Trust Index team to look into? Submit your questions and we will get to work for you!

Clarification:This story has been updated to clarify the Bell's Palsy information.