Myths and misconceptions around covid-19 vaccines and vaccinations in Kenya
By Lilian Kaivilu
With two years since the first covid-19 case was reported in Wuhan China, the disease still remains a mystery to people in some parts of the world. The misinformation, disinformation and the different opinions by world leaders make the situation even more complicated.
As a result, the covid-19 vaccine uptake has faced a lot of hesitancy and doubts in some parts of Kenya. We look at some of the myths surrounding the vaccination in Kenya.
Vaccination hesitancy has also been stimulated by some people claiming that the vaccines took a very short time to be made, hence casting a doubt on their efficacy.
Although no vaccine can be approved without going through rigorous clinical trials, many have doubted the authenticity of the covid-19 vaccine.
The vaccine has a microchip embedded in it to monitor human population. There is no evidence to support this myth, so it just remains to be as such, a myth.
1. Covid-19 vaccination causes infertility
Although more covid-19 vaccine types are still being developed, some Kenyans have already cast doubts on the safety of the jab. To some, the vaccine drive is seen as a way of birth control among women of the reproductive age. According to the World Health Organization, there is currently no evidence that antibodies from covid-19 vaccination or vaccine ingredients could cause any problems with reproductive organs.
2. One cannot contract covid-19 after vaccination
According to the World Health Organization, vaccination is not a guarantee that one will not test positive for covid-19. Although fully vaccinated, people will still get the corona virus disease in what is called ‘breakthrough infection’ or ‘breakthrough case’. Such scenarios also come with new variants. There is, however, ongoing studies to investigate whether vaccinated individuals can transmit the virus to others.
3. Vaccination is for some races and regions
“Covid-19 is a foreign disease and thus cannot affect me as a Kenyan. I, thus, do not need a vaccine against it. In fact, in remote parts of the country, people don’t even need masks,” are words by a Nairobian who sought anonymity. With the statistics by the Ministry of Health in Kenya, covid-19 cases in Kenya continue to rise every day, even with reported deaths.
4. Covid-19 is unsafe for pregnant women
The contrary is true. The Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC) highlights that pregnant women are at an increased risk for severe illness from covid-19 compared to non-pregnant women. In addition, expectant women who contract covid-19 are at a higher risk of preterm births and related complications.
5. Covid vaccination is aimed at population control
Stories that the vaccine has a microchip embedded in it to monitor human population are rife. There is no evidence to support this myth, so it just remains to be as such, a myth.