The Myths and Facts About COVID-19 Vaccine
By Staff Reporters
At present, the pandemic is still prevalent around the globe, more than 2.2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in China as of October 5, according to the National Health Commission.
Relevant scientific research and some measures taken against COVID-19 show that vaccines have good preventive and protective effects. However, there have been persistent rumors that undermine the vaccination campaign.
Science and Technology Daily recently spoke to Professor Guo Yu from College of Life Sciences at Nankai University, who provided facts related to COVID-19 vaccines that can help negate these common myths and rumors.
Myth: The COVID-19 vaccines could cause cancer.
Fact: None of the vaccines contain ingredients that can cause cancer.
There have been rumors online that COVID-19 vaccines may cause cancer. Vaccines have long been rumored to cause cancer, and now it's the turn of the COVID-19 vaccine.
However, many of the COVID-19 vaccines on the market today contain either completely inactivated virus particles, a nucleic acid sequence of the virus, or a part of the virus surface protein, which cannot continuously replicate in host cells. In addition, no RNA viruses, to which COVID-19 virus belongs, have been found to be associated with tumors.
The ingredients contained in the inactivated vaccines, for example, contain components such as beta-propiolactone of inactivated viruses, Vero cell residues, aluminum hydroxide adjuvants, disodium hydrogen phosphate, and sodium dihydrogen phosphate. In addition, those vaccines have undergone a rigid process. The amount of other ingredients contained in those vaccines are also very low, and many of the ingredients are also applied in processed food, which are safe for human consumption.
Myth：The COVID-19 lambda variant is vaccine-resistant.
Fact: The COVID-19 lambda variant does not change the fact that the vaccine is safe and effective.
The lambda variant was designated as the "variant of interest" by WHO. According to the working definition presented on the WHO's official website, it is characterized with genetic changes that are predicted, or known to affect virus characteristics, such as transmissibility, disease severity, immune escape, diagnostic or therapeutic escape. And at the same time, the variant is identified to cause significant community transmission or multiple COVID-19 clusters, in multiple countries with increasing relative prevalence alongside increasing number of cases over time, or other apparent epidemiological impacts to suggest an emerging risk to global public health.
At present, there are two main methods of studying immune escape in COVID-19 cases. One is in the laboratory to see whether the ability of serum of the vaccinators is less able to neutralize the mutant strain of the virus. The second is to continuously observe and document the effectiveness of vaccines in the real world.
Some recent serum virus neutralization（SVN）assays demonstrated that although the lambda variant has some immune escape properties, it was not that prominent compared to other variants.
What's more, studies that tracked the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in some South American countries did not see a significant impact of the lambda variants on vaccine effectiveness. Among persons who were fully immunized, the adjusted vaccine effectiveness was 65.9 percent for the prevention of COVID-19 and 87.5 percent for the prevention of hospitalization, 90.3 percent for the prevention of ICU admission, and 86.3 percent for the prevention of COVID-19-related deaths. During the period of this analysis, the lambda variants accounted for 27 percent of the local COVID-19 cases identified.
Myth: COVID-19 vaccines make your arm magnetic after injection.
Fact: COVID-19 vaccines don't cause magnetic reactions
Recently, some videos and posts went viral with a flawed claim that iron spoons can be attracted to one's arms after vaccination.
Some people claimed that the injection site of a particular COVID-19 vaccine on the arm became magnetized and could even attract an iron spoon. The photo they posted displayed that a metal spoon was clinging to the vaccinated arm without any support. Some recipients even made a comparison between the left and right arms. Obviously, the unvaccinated arm did not respond to a spoon.
The U.S. CDC refuted the related rumors and pointed out that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will not make recipients magnetic, including the site of injection which is usually people's arm. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain ingredients that can produce an electromagnetic field at the site of injection. All COVID-19 vaccines are free from metals. CDC also clarified that COVID-19 vaccines do not contain microchips. Vaccines are developed to fight against disease and are not administered to track people's movement.
A U.S. website that checks and debunks rumors also sent some approved vaccines to inspection authorities for testing, but none of them were found to contain metal.
Some experts presented the reason why arms can cause a magnetic response after injection is because of the friction and surface tension led by the sweat and oil produced by human skin.