Fact-Check: Text Riddled With Falsehoods on Vaccines Goes Viral
The claims made in the message are false or manipulated, and the vaccine will help in curbing the pandemic.
A message viral on the internet is trying to discourage people from taking the coronavirus vaccine by claiming that the COVID-19 vaccine does not help the recipient in any way.
However, we found that the claims made in the viral message are manipulated and false and research shows that vaccines will help in curbing the pandemic.
The long message has been shared on Facebook, Twitter and also on WhatsApp. The full message reads:
If I get vaccinated:
1.- Can I stop wearing the mask?
2.- Can they reopen restaurants etc and everyone work normally?
3.- Will I be resistant to covid?
- Maybe, but we don't know exactly, it probably won't stop you getting it
4.- At least I won't be contagious to others anymore?
- no you can still pass it on, possibly, nobody knows.
5.- If we vaccinate all children, will school resume normally?
6.- If I am vaccinated, can I stop social distancing?
7.- If I am vaccinated, can I stop disinfecting my hands?
8.- If I vaccinate myself and my grandfather, can we hug each other?
9.- Will cinemas, theatres and stadiums be reopened thanks to vaccines?
10.- Will the vaccinated be able to gather?
11.- What is the real benefit of vaccination?
- The virus won't kill you.
12.- Are you sure it won't kill me?
13.- If statistically the virus didn't kill me anyway ... Why would I get vaccinated?"
- To protect others.
14.- So if I get vaccinated, the others are 100% sure I'm not infecting them?
So the shot does not give immunity.
Does not eliminate the virus.
Does not prevent death.
Does not guarantee you won’t get it.
Does not prevent you from getting it.
Does not stop you passing it on
Does not eliminate the need for travel bans.
Does not eliminate the need for business closures.
Does not eliminate the need for lockdowns.
Does not eliminate the need for masking.
So...what the hell is it actually doing?
So why should one get vaccinated to make the pharmaceutical corporations richer
Bollywood actress Pooja Bedi also shared the viral message on her Twitter handle.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
The first part of the message containing question and answers is true. It is a fact that one has to take precautions and continue to show COVID-appropriate behaviour even after getting the vaccine.
Dr Shahid Jameel, Virologist, Director, Trivedi School of Biosciences, Ashoka University, told The Quint that “even though you may be protected from the disease after the vaccination, you could still transmit it to others. So, wearing masks is mandatory even after a person has been vaccinated.”
The second half of the message, however, is riddled with factual inaccuracies.
CLAIM 1: The shot does not give immunity
The two COVID-19 vaccines approved in India - Covishield and Covaxin - are two-dose vaccines. The efficacy rate of Covishield vaccine is reported at 70.4 percent. However, studies are still being conducted to see the difference in efficacy when the second dose is delayed. According to a fact sheet released by Serum Institute of India, “You may get protective immune response four weeks after the second dose of Covishield vaccine."
The final efficacy data for phase 3 human trial of Covaxin vaccine is yet to be released. But the vaccine maker Bharat Biotech has said that immune response is seen two weeks after the second dose.
CLAIM 2: Does not eliminate the virus
It is not vaccines role to eliminate a virus. As per the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “vaccines help develop immunity by imitating an infection. This type of infection, however, almost never causes illness, but it does cause the immune system to produce T-lymphocytes and antibodies.”
CLAIM 3: Does not prevent death
The vaccine produces antibodies in the body of the recipient which ensures that the person does not get a severe infection. Therefore, the claim is false as the vaccine reduces the chances of death due to the infection.
CLAIM 4: Does not guarantee you won’t get it
No vaccine is 100 percent effective against any virus. So, this claim is true but it is important to note that without the vaccine, the chances of getting a severe illness remains high.
CLAIM 5: Does not prevent you from getting coronavirus
This claim is misleading as one might still get the virus after being completely vaccinated, the impact will not be the same as when they get the infection without being vaccinated, as Dr Shahid Jameel explains in this video.
CLAIM 6: Does not stop you passing it on
This is true. As mentioned previously by Dr Jameel, it is possible that a vaccinated person can transmit the disease.
CLAIM 7: Does not eliminate the need for travel bans
Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said that 75 to 80 percent of the population needs to be vaccinated to reach the herd immunity threshold which will mean it will be safe for countries to remove travel restrictions.
Therefore, the restrictions can’t be removed immediately as it will take time to vaccinate larger populations.
CLAIM 8: Does not eliminate the need for business closures
As mentioned previously, it will only be safe to open businesses completely after a majority of the population is vaccinated.
CLAIM 9: Does not eliminate the need for lockdowns
Although lockdowns restrictions in India have been relaxed, it won’t be correct to remove all the restrictions until a large part of the population is vaccinated against the vaccine. This claim is, therefore, misleading. We need more people to be vaccinated to be able to remove more restrictions.
CLAIM 10: Does not eliminate the need for masking
This claim is true. Since there is a chance for vaccinated people to be carriers of the virus, it is advisable to wear the mask even after getting both the shots. It is also advisable to maintain other hygiene practices like washing/sanitising hands and surfaces.
Evidently, a forwarded message riddled to false and manipulated claims was shared to deter people from taking the vaccine.
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