Image via Shutterstock Image via Shutterstock

No, your brain won’t be microchipped, and no, you won’t get COVID-19 by taking the vaccine. Here’s what you should know in Michigan.

MICHIGAN—Vaccine distribution is all any Michigander can talk about, but some of those conversations include less-than-reliable information.

In fact, Henry Ford Health Systems training manager Doreen Dankerlui says that consulting with your physician is the best way to ensure you’re getting accurate information on the COVID-19 vaccine.

“It’s really important to have a relationship with a health provider who can answer [specific vaccine] questions for you,” Dankerlui told The ‘Gander.

But many Michiganders don’t have strong relationships with their doctors—especially after the pandemic halted most in-person visits and moved patient care online via telehealth visits.

In response, Henry Ford Health Systems reaches out directly to the communities it serves to build trust, provide  information, and debunk some of the myths circulating online.

We rounded up 13 of the most common myths about the COVID vaccine and the truth you should know from trusted experts and scientists. Plus, we have the local reading you need to make sense of each of these misconceptions from a Michigan perspective. 

Check them out below.

RELATED: COVID-19 Panel: Building Trust in Michigan’s Black Community

Myth #1:

The development of this vaccine was so rushed, it can’t possibly be trusted.


Studies show that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are both about 95% effective. Neither vaccine has been reported to cause serious or life-threatening side effects. There are many reasons why the COVID-19 vaccines could be developed so quickly.

Here are a few reasons for the fast development:

  • The vaccines were created with a method that has been in development for years. The purpose of this method allows companies to start the vaccine development process early in the event of a pandemic.
  • China isolated and shared genetic information about COVID-19 quickly, so scientists could start working on vaccines.
  • The vaccine developers did not skip any testing steps, but they did conducte some of the steps on an overlapping schedule to gather data faster.
  • Vaccine projects had plenty of resources, as the US and other governments invested in research and/or paid for vaccines in advance.
  • Some types of COVID-19 vaccines were created using messenger RNA (mRNA), which allows a faster approach than the traditional way that vaccines are made.
  • Social media helped companies find and engage study volunteers, and many were willing to help with COVID-19 vaccine research.
  • Because COVID-19 is so contagious and widespread, it did not take long to see if the vaccine worked for the study volunteers who were vaccinated.

SOURCE: Johns Hopkins Medicine

READ: Keep Going Michigan: The Largest Vaccination Campaign in Human History Is Here

Myth #2:

The side effects are dangerous.


The COVID-19 vaccine can have side effects, but the most are short-term and not considered to be serious or dangerous.

Vaccine developers report that some people experience soreness where they were injected, body aches, headaches or fever. This typically lasts for a day or two.

These are signs that the vaccine is working to stimulate your immune system. If symptoms persist beyond two days, you should call your doctor.

Anyone with allergies—especially severe ones that require you to carry an EpiPen—should discuss the COVID-19 vaccine with their doctor, who can assess risk and provide more information about if and how to be safely vaccinated.

SOURCE: Johns Hopkins Medicine

READ MORE: Michigan COVID-19 Vaccine Questions, Answered

Myth #3: 

The vaccine can negatively affect fertility in women.


The COVID-19 vaccine will not affect fertility.

The COVID-19 vaccine encourages the body to create copies of the spike protein found on the coronavirus’ surface. This “teaches” the body’s immune system to fight the virus that has that specific spike protein on it.

RELATED INFORMATION: Here’s What This Labor and Delivery Nurse Says to Nursing Mothers

Myth #4:

Getting the vaccine will give you COVID-19.


The vaccine for COVID-19 cannot and will not give you COVID-19. 

The two authorized mRNA vaccines tell your cells to reproduce a protein that is part of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which helps your body recognize and fight the virus, if your body is ever introduced to it. 

The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain the SARS-Co-2 virus, so you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The protein that helps your immune system recognize and fight the virus does not cause infection of any sort.

SOURCE: Johns Hopkins Medicine

SEE MORE: Michigan Needs More Vaccines to Fight New Coronavirus Variants

Myth #5:

Vaccines contain fetal tissue.


There were no fetal cells used in the development of the Pfizer nor the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

SOURCE: The Mayo Clinic

READ ALSO: Johnson & Johnson’s COVID Vaccine Could Be Approved Soon. Here’s Why That’s a Big Deal.

Myth #6:

I have an egg allergy, so I can’t take the COVID vaccine.


Neither the Pfizer vaccine nor the Moderna vaccine contains egg. Eggs are also not used in the development or production of either vaccine.

Despite this, those with severe allergic reactions to eggs or any other substance (i.e., anaphylaxis) are encouraged to remain after vaccination for 30 minutes for observation.

SOURCE: The Mayo Clinic

READ: Should I Get the COVID Vaccine if I’m Fighting Cancer? It’s Complicated.

Myth #7:

More people will die from side effects than the virus itself.


This myth is based on an internet rumor that correctly claims that the mortality rate of COVID-19 is 1%-2%. The rumor goes on to say that people shouldn’t get vaccinated against a virus with such a low mortality rate—this is false.

In fact, COVID-19’s mortality rate is approximately 10 times higher than the seasonal flu.

SOURCE: The Mayo Clinic

SEE ALSO: Michigan’s Daily Data: Where COVID Cases, Deaths, Recoveries, Vaccinations Stand Today

Myth #8:

The vaccine has to be stored at low temperatures because it’s made with preservatives.


According to both Pfizer and Moderna, their vaccines contain no preservatives.

SOURCE: The Mayo Clinic

MORE READING: Pennsylvania Officials Push Facts on Vaccines

Myth #9:

There are microchip trackers inside the vaccine doses.


There are no microchips or brain-altering devices in any COVID-19 vaccines.

SOURCES: The Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins Medicine, The Cleveland Clinic

DON’T MISS: America’s Vaccine Rollout Is a Mess, but Hope Is on the Horizon

Myth #10:

Once you’ve been vaccinated, there’s no need to wear a mask or other PPE.


Anyone who receives the vaccine should still practice safety precautions, including wearing a mask, frequent hand-washing, and social distancing.

SOURCE: Johns Hopkins Medicine

RELATED: Federal Mismanagement Derailed Michigan’s COVID Response—Again

Myth #11:

The COVID vaccine changes your DNA.


The COVID vaccine is introduced to the body through mRNA—with the “m” standing for “messenger.” Once your cells receive the message, they break up and destroy the mRNA.

SOURCE: The Cleveland Clinic

ICYMI: Michigan Teachers Are Now Eligible for COVID Vaccine

Myth #12:

People who have already had COVID-19 don’t need to take the vaccine.


Because re-infection is still possible for Michiganders who have already had COVID-19, vaccination can still be beneficial.

SOURCE: Johns Hopkins Medicine

READ MORE: The Countdown: Tracking the Vaccine Rollout and the End of COVID

Myth #13:

The pandemic will end very soon now that vaccines are being distributed.


In order to achieve herd immunity—the point where the virus is no longer likely to continue spreading—at least 70% of the population must be vaccinated. This process will take time, so Michiganders should expect the pandemic to continue for several more months, at minimum.

SOURCE: The Cleveland Clinic

DON’T MISS: Vietnam Vet: America’s Racist History Won’t Keep Me From the Vaccine