People who don’t want the Covid-19 vaccine can be hard to argue with – here’s how to debunk the most common anti-vax myths.
Misinformation has been rife since the start of the pandemic, with wild theories plastered across social media.
The swathes of information have left many people questioning what is real and what is fake – so we have taken the time to debunk some of the theories about vaccines.
US and Europe won’t recognise the AstraZeneca vaccine and you will not be allowed to travel there
In June, reports emerged that Australians who had the AstraZeneca vaccine may have troubles entering these countries due to a quirk in the European Union’s vaccine approval process.
At the time, the Australian-made vaccine was not specifically registered with the approvals board but there are no known cases of this impacting anyone with an Australian or Indian-made vaccine being prevented from entering these countries.
AstraZeneca clarified the issue in July in a statement, reiterating the vaccines were the same regardless of where they were made.
Therefore, if you have had the AstraZeneca vaccine, you WILL be allowed to travel to the US and Europe.
“The vaccine has also received emergency authorisation from the World Health Organisation. As such the vaccine made by CSL is a valid vaccination for travel to Europe,” AstraZeneca said in the statement.
“In Australia, the original name is still used and AstraZeneca is in the process of registering the brand name Vaxzevria. This minor difference, which will soon disappear, may have created misperceptions that the vaccine is not the same.
“For vaccines produced in our global supply chain that are using the original name Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca, we are currently in the process of registering the trade name Vaxzevria, which is used in many other markets including the EU.”
People thinking the vaccines are more dangerous than Covid
Overwhelmingly, data and science have proven that Covid is much more dangerous than vaccines.
There has been vaccine hesitancy from some parts of the community due to extremely rare side effects from the AstraZeneca vaccine – which include blood clotting called thrombosis thrombocytopenia syndrome – and the Pfizer vaccination – which includes swelling of the heart.
Across the world, there have been 4,531,666 deaths from the virus. Its size and spread have been a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Comparatively, in Australia, there have been 87 cases of TTS in Australia from 6.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Five of those people died.
This means that the average number of deaths from TTS caused by AstraZeneca is less than 1 in a million.
There is substantially less risk of contracting TTS from a vaccine compared to the oral contraceptive bill, long haul travel and ibuprofen.
We should be taking Ivermectin to treat Covid
“You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”
That is the message from the US Food and Drug Administration after reports emerged people were using Ivermectin to treat Covid.
The drug, which is often used to treat or prevent parasites in animals, has been touted as a potential treatment for Covid by right-wing commentators. Last year, we heard similar comments about hydroxychloroquine – but there was no evidence this was effective in treating the virus.
Ivermectin is primarily used to treat people with intestinal strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis, two conditions caused by parasitic worms. There is also concern from medical officials that people are using Ivermectin that has been designed for large animals – and people may be ingesting huge doses of the drug.
Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Authority slapped down any potential use of the drug as a Covid treatment last month.
“Treatment of Covid-19 is not a permitted indication for any TGA-approved ivermectin products, which means that the TGA has not assessed the safety and efficacy of these products for this condition,” it said in a statement.
“The TGA strongly discourages self-medication and self-dosing with ivermectin for Covid-19 as it may be dangerous to your health.”
It doesn’t matter if you get vaccinated because you can still get Covid and spread it
Yes, you can still catch Covid after being vaccinated – but the vaccinations dramatically reduce the chance of this happening, and one of you getting seriously sick.
Preliminary data from the UK suggests both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines stop about 80 per cent of infections.
Another study from the UK proved that if a person was infected after being vaccinated they were half as likely to pass the virus on to the people they had lived with.
In Australia, vaccinations are quickly being proven to prevent hospitalisations from Covid. Between March and July, 610 people in NSW tested positive for Covid-19 and only 10 of them had been fully vaccinated.
While in America, 97 per cent of people hospitalised with Covid-19 are unvaccinated.
You’re a guinea pig for taking the vaccine.
Well, no – you’re not a guinea pig. The insinuation of this comment is that you or your family or friends are being used to ‘test’ the vaccine. This is not the case as the vaccinations have gone through rigorous testing before being used on people.
Previously, some vaccines had taken years to develop. However, due to a range of measures the Covid vaccinations were created, tested and authorised at a rapid rate.
The simplest reason for this is due to the size and severity of the virus.
With millions of people being infected and dying from Covid – countries and companies shared data and processes where they may not have before.
Vaccine developers conducted some stages of the process simultaneously to gather as much data as quickly as possible.
They also created vaccines using messenger RNA (mRNA), a new technology that allows a faster approach than the traditional way vaccines are made
And another key aspect was because Covid is so contagious and widespread, many volunteers who got the vaccine were exposed to the virus, and with so many exposures, the trials took a shorter time to see if the vaccine worked.