With all the conversations currently being had about COVID-19, it is easy to become confused and unsure about what is the correct information. Everyone has an opinion and deciphering the rhetoric is more difficult than ever.
At Careseekers we have aimed to provide our community of care and support workers and care and support seekers with the most up to date, science-backed and correct COVID-19 information in a clear and simple way.
We thought we would look at some of the common COVID-19 misconceptions that are going around and do our best to give you the facts around these.
1. COVID-19 is a mild flu
Yes, infection with COVID-19 is an illness that can cause flu-like symptoms such as body aches, fever and a cough. However the overall profile of COVID-19 is much more serious. A recent study in the British Medical Journal has found that COVID-19 is far more contagious and the rate of death when compared with influenza is far higher.
As flu has been around a lot longer than COVID-19, we have many more treatments options to treat flu.
2. The vaccines can transmit the virus
None of the approved vaccines in Australia contain live COVID-19, which means a recipient will not contract COVID-19 as a result of being vaccinated. Sometimes, there may be mild flu-like side effects as a result of the vaccine but these are rare and are not COVID-19 itself.
3. The vaccine has been rushed
It might seem as though the COVID-19 vaccine has been rushed into production but we have to remember that the urgency of the COVID-19 crisis around the world meant that researchers and developers prioritised the progress of these vaccines. It allowed countries to deliver safe and effective vaccines faster than has ever been done in the past. In Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Administration approved the vaccines after a complete assessment of data. This is the same process as any vaccine approved in Australia and approval will only happen if the vaccine is both safe and effective. To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines, click here.
4. AstraZenica will give me blood clots
The facts are that when experts say there is a small risk of blood clot from AstraZenica they are talking about the risk as being 46 people in one million. That is 0.0005 per cent. When you compare this to Australia's national fatality rate from COVID-19, which is 3 per cent, you can see that the risk from the vaccine is miniscule. The Therapeutic Goods Administration has provisionally approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for people over the age of 18. If you are concerned, please chat to your GP prior to getting the vaccine. To learn more about the risks and benefits of the AstraZenica vaccine, click here.
5. 5G Networks are spreading the virus
5G Mobile networks cannot spread COVID-19. The World Health Organisation has noted that "viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks. COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. People can also be infected by touching a contaminated surface and then their eyes, mouth or nose."
6. I'm healthy and don't need a vaccine
To keep the Australian population safe from COVID-19 we need to achieve a 'herd immunity' - this is where the majority of our population is vaccinated. Getting your vaccine is about public health and living in a society. We are all relying on each other to do the right thing to ensure we can all live safely and return to normal life.
7. Consider the source of your COVID-19 information
We must all be encouraged to rely on reputable sources of information when we make choices and stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 news. Misinformation can lead to unnecessary worry and delay in accessing safe and effective vaccines. Social media channels, whilst great for staying in touch, can be a source of misinformation. Anyone can post something on social media without any scientific basis and it is important to remember this before following and sharing advice.
Credible sources of include:
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