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Monday, November 29, 2021

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Vaccine myths busted

Concerns have been raised about the number of people – especially in the younger generations – who have not taken up a vaccine offer. 

If you’re still not sure, or know someone who is hesitant, we’ve been speaking to oncologist Professor Angus Dalgleish who has busted some common vaccine myths. 

“The vaccine can alter DNA”

This is one the professor rejects straight away. 

“That is a very, very science fiction extrapolation of things which I don’t think there’s any evidence of at all,” he said.

“The vaccine was ‘rushed through’ too quickly”

Another common excuse for not having a vaccine is that it hasn’t been tested enough. 

But Professor Dalgleish said the jabs were able to be made so quickly because all the testing was done in parallel. 

“It wasn’t rushed, it wasn’t just done in a few dozen people… This was done in the tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands and now we’ve had millions vaccinated,” he said. 

“It could make you infertile”

This is another myth that has been common, particularly among young women. 

The professor said he understood the concerns because of the thalidomide scandal decades ago, but he said this drug has nothing in common with our coronavirus vaccines. 

He said we don’t have any reason to suspect it could be a problem and people would not take any medicines at all if they were that concerned. 

“Young people will only get mild symptoms so it’s not worth getting a jab”

Professor Dalgleish agreed the “vast majority” of young people will only get mild symptoms – but the real risk is long COVID. 

He said he’d seen some “dreadful” cases of long COVID that were “equivalent to being run over and being in hospital for months on end”. 

“It’s the same thing – they cannot work and they complain of a brain fog, which I find really concerning… for young people, this risk of long COVID is the main reason to get vaccinated.” 

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