Saria Carter Saccocio, MD
With COVID-19 vaccines now available and 42.2% of South Carolina residents having gotten at least on dose of the vaccine, understanding what is true about the vaccine is important. A vaccine is key to helping end the pandemic, but misinformation could make people hesitant to get it. Dr. Saria Saccocio, MD, Prisma Health Ambulatory Chief Medical Officer and co-chair of the Prisma Health Vaccine Task Force, addresses several of the myths going around about the COVID-19 vaccine.
The shot will give me COVID-19.
None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. Therefore, the vaccine cannot give you COVID-19 or cause you to test positive for COVID-19. The vaccine also does not weaken your immune system, it makes your immune system stronger to help fight the virus.
I will be sick after I get my vaccine.
There are some mild temporary symptoms in response to your body building up immunity. Most symptoms were experienced around the injection site with mild arm discomfort. Other symptoms such as an elevated temperature, achiness and fatigue may also be experienced. These symptoms typically resolved within a couple days. Side effects like this are simply a result of your immune system working to generate protection against COVID-19.
The shot won’t protect me, I’m already healthy.
Healthy individuals can become infected with COVID-19 just as easily as those with health conditions and health concerns. While healthy individuals tend to do better when infected, COVID-19 can still cause significant disease and death in individuals not considered high risk. Healthy individuals can also transmit the infection to vulnerable populations and, therefore, should receive the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccines are effective for all, including healthy individuals.
If everyone around me gets vaccinated, then I don’t need to.
The more people vaccinated, the quicker and safer we can get to the end of this pandemic. The main threat to community protection will be unvaccinated individuals. The bottom line is that it’s better to get the vaccine than the disease itself.
Prisma Health wants to remind you that each person needs to do their part to build community immunity. For more vaccine information, visit PrismaHealth.org/vaccine.
About Saria Carter Saccocio, MD
Ambulatory Chief Medical Officer at Prisma Health
Dr. Saria Carter Saccocio is a Family Medicine Specialist in Greenville, South Carolina. She graduated with honors from University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill School Of Medicine in 2001.