​Debunking the top 5 myths about the COVID-19 vaccine

Myth 1: The vaccine was rushed to be developed and hence unsafe.

Fact: Strong global partnerships (including governments, vaccine manufacturers and researchers) and significant investment of resourses enabled an accelerated development timeline for COVID-19 vaccines.

The processes are as robust as those for conventional vaccine development. No shortcuts were taken and safety has not been compromised.

Myth 2: I should wait for other brands of vaccines so that I have a choice.

Fact: The safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines for all Singaporeans is of utmost importance. Only vaccines that comply with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO guidelines and meet strict standards of safety, quality and efficacy will be used.

Multiple safety checks are in place before the vaccines are rolled-out in Singapore. For example, all vaccines to be deployed in Singapore must be authorised by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA). An expert panel, comprising 18 scientists and clinicians, was also formed to advise the Government on therapeutics and vaccines. In identifying suitable vaccines, the panel relies on data that comes from the different vaccine companies at their respective stages of clinical trials.

The HSA authorised the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, based on the following assessment:

  • It has a high vaccine efficacy of 95% in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 disease in vaccinated persons aged 16 years and older
  • Its safety profile is consistent with other established and registered vaccines. No significant safety concerns have been detected. Common side effects were expected as part of the body’s natural response to a vaccination, such as injection site pain, fever, fatigue and headache
  • The benefits outweigh the known risks. But continued monitoring for longer-term efficacy of the vaccine, as well as monitoring for rare and serious adverse events will be needed

Myth 3: The likelihood of adverse reactions to the vaccination is high.

Fact: As with other vaccines, some individuals may experience mild side effects that usually resolves within a few days.

Pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems and those under 16 years of age should not receive the vaccine yet, until more data is available. More details can be found on the Gov.sg What you should know about the COVID-19 vaccine page.

Myth 4: Those with chronic medical conditions should not take the vaccines.

Fact: In fact, tiering at the national level puts those with chronic conditions among the vulnerable groups to be vaccinated first, as they tend to have poorer health outcomes should they be infected with COVID-19!

Myth 5: Those who have received the vaccine can stop wearing masks or observing safe distancing measures.

Fact: Until more data is available to show that vaccination is effective in preventing transmission of COVID-19 infections, we must still continue to observe safe distancing and strict infection control measures, including the wearing of masks.

Know the facts! Share the facts!

Ref: L20

Check out other articles on vaccines:

COVID-19 Vaccine: Is It Safe for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding? 

The Truth About Vaccines

Childhood Vaccinations: What You Need to Know

Why Seniors Need Vaccinations