New Delhi: After almost a year of fighting the deadly novel COVID-19 pandemic, the massive vaccination drive was initiated in India on January 16, 2021. However, myths surrounding the COVID vaccine doing the rounds on social media platforms have made people sceptical about getting jabbed and has added to misinformation in these desperate times.
We got in touch with doctors to clear the air. Below are popular COVID-19 vaccine myths busted.
MYTH#1: Women should avoid getting vaccinated during menstruation
Fact – Dr Pratima Thamke, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar says, “This is completely false. A few days ago, a post went viral on social media that stated women should not take COVID-19 vaccines five days before and after their period cycle as their immunity is low during periods. Well, do not believe this rumour. You’re only bleeding and the immunity and everything is intact. It is safe to get the jab during or before/after periods. COVID vaccination does not have to do anything with menstruation. There is absolutely no connection between periods and vaccination. There is no study/ research/ evidence to back the claim that the vaccine is dangerous for women during their periods.”
MYTH #2: Pregnant women should not get vaccinated
Fact – “If you are pregnant and have various comorbidities then you fall into the high-risk category and may require to get vaccinated after consulting your doctor. However, pregnant women are not listed to get vaccinated in India but they are allowed in countries like the US and UK. If you are concerned about the risk then speak to your doctor,” shares Dr Thamke.
“Pregnant/ Lactating women and children were not a part of early vaccine research and hence there was no information about the same. The government had advised to not vaccinate the above groups before safety data is available. However in the latest update, the pregnant women are also being given a choice for vaccination,” shares Dr Richa Jagtap, Clinical Director, Consultant Reproductive Medicine, Nova IVF Fertility, Mumbai.
MYTH #3: Lactating and breastfeeding mothers should avoid taking the jab
Fact – “There are no harmful effects of vaccination recorded in lactating or breastfeeding mothers. It is safe for them to get vaccinated. If they are planning for pregnancy or have any queries on vaccines, it is advisable to speak to their doctor first,” says Dr Thamke.
MYTH #4: COVED-19 vaccine leads to infertility
Fact – “There is no negative effect of the vaccine with any fertility treatments. There are no guidelines about the adverse effects of vaccines on one’s fertility. In fact, it’s advised to get vaccinated before getting pregnant,” says Dr Richa Jagtap, Clinical Director, Consultant Reproductive Medicine, Nova IVF Fertility, Mumbai.
She further adds, “It’s best to get vaccinated and then approach pregnancy so that your pregnancy is safer and healthier. Most important is that you will have to still follow the COVID protocol of masking, hand sanitizing, and social distancing after inoculation.”
MYTH #5 – Those patients undergoing chemotherapy for breast or ovarian cancer should avoid taking vaccination
Fact – “Patients on chemotherapy have a strong indication for vaccination because their immunity is very low so they are very prone to get any types of infection including Corona,” says Pradeep Kawatra, Senior consultant- Internal Medicine, Apollo Spectra Nehru Enclave, New Delhi.
MYTH #6 – COVID vaccine is not recommended for those with comorbidities like diabetes, heart conditions, and cancer
Fact – “There is a strong indication for vaccination in patients with comorbidities like diabetes and hypertension because if they get COVID-19 infection the morbidity and mortality is very high in these patients and they are likely to suffer more because of corona,” tells Dr Kawatra.