COVID-19 Vaccine Myths Debunked [Kelly Evans-Hullinger]

Video Transcript

My name is Kelly Evans-Hullinger. I'm a physician, and I practice internal medicine at the Avera, Brookings Medical Clinic.

Is it possible to catch COVID from the vaccine?

What is included in the vaccine would not be capable of causing infection. There are old vaccines that we use what we call live attenuated viruses, and those, in theory, could cause mild infection when given. This technology does not use any real virus. It's purely the mRNA, which itself is not an active form of the virus.

Can the COVID vaccine alter DNA?

No. The vaccine does not alter DNA. There's really not a way in which messenger RNA can be converted into DNA.

Does the vaccine affect fertility?

There has been no evidence that COVID vaccine has any link with infertility or female fertility in general.

Is the vaccine safe for pregnant women?

In the development trials, pregnant and breastfeeding women were not studied, and that is something fairly typical that happens with scientific trials is they exclude pregnant and breastfeeding women, at least, initially. However, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine have both stated that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should have the choice to be vaccinated.

Vaccines, as a general rule, are thought to be very safe in pregnant women. We just don't have the explicit data. I know a lot of pregnant women who work in health care who did opt to get vaccinated because their risk of getting infected, they thought was more profound than the potential risk of a vaccine even without pre-data. But that's something that I think is gonna be very individualized for women who are pregnant, and something that's worthy of them discussing with their physician.

Is it possible to place tracking devices in a vaccine?

I don't know where the myth on tracking devices really originated with this vaccine, but it's not scientifically within the realm of anything that I could imagine even possible. So I hope people aren't avoiding vaccine for that reason.

Why did you get the COVID vaccine?

I could not wait to get my COVID-19 vaccine. You know, six months ago when we were hearing reports from the media that we might have a vaccine approved by the end of the year, I was as skeptical as anyone that we were gonna have good data on that. However, when the FDA was looking at and finally approved these two vaccines that we have, I was able to read through the data myself, look at the vaccine safety and efficacy data, and I was very impressed by the quality of evidence.

So, by the time it was available to me and I got my first dose in December, I had no hesitation about going ahead and getting the vaccine for myself, for my own protection and to demonstrate my confidence in the safety of the data.