There are many reasons some Americans may be hesitant to receive the vaccine – some of which are based on false or misleading information.
USA TODAY has spent months sorting fact from fiction about the coronavirus vaccines. Here are six of the most persistent misconceptions circulating online.
1. The vaccines aren’t safe because they were developed quickly
This is missing context. Scientists zeroed in on coronaviruses’ spike proteins 20 years ago when looking for a potential vaccine for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
2. Thousands of people have died from the vaccines
This is false. Deaths reported to the Vaccine Adverse Reporting System (VAERS), a database maintained by federal public health agencies, have not been verified…. This wide access has led to made-up entries, and federal experts who look into the reports have not found any proof of widespread deaths or serious side effects caused by the vaccines.
3. The vaccines are experimental and weren’t tested thoroughly
This is false. All three coronavirus vaccines authorized for emergency use in the USA underwent clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people.
4. Natural immunity is always stronger than the vaccines
This is partly false. Natural immunity does tend to last longer than immunity acquired from vaccination, but it depends on the pathogen.