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Two safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in Tennessee. You may have heard claims about the COVID-19 vaccines on social media or from people in your life. Let’s set the record straight on myths circulating about the COVID-19 vaccines. 

  • Fiction: The government is mandating that everyone receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 
    • Fact: The vaccine is not mandated in Tennessee.  The state strongly recommends that Tennesseans who are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine get the vaccine, though we all have the right to choose. 
  • Fiction: The COVID-19 vaccines are not safe because they were rapidly developed and tested. 
    • Fact: All COVID-19 vaccines go through the same careful process as every other vaccine. Both the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines were found to be safe during research studies with no serious events among tens of thousands of volunteers who received the vaccines. The vaccine will also continue to be monitored to make sure that any rare problems are found as soon as possible and evaluated to see if they were caused by the vaccine.  
  • Fiction: There are severe side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines.
    • Fact: The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are safe. There are short-term mild or moderate reactions that resolve without complication. Very rarely, there have been people who received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine who had severe allergic reactions.
  • Fiction: More people will die as a result of a negative side effect from the COVID-19 vaccines than would actually die from the virus.
    • Fact: While some people who receive a COVID-19 vaccine may develop soreness or fatigue as their immune system responds, remember that this is common when receiving any vaccine and is not considered serious or life-threatening. You cannot get COVID-19 infection from the COVID-19 vaccines; they are inactivated vaccines and not live vaccines.
  • Fiction: The COVID-19 vaccines include the live virus and will cause you to get COVID-19. 
    • Fact: It is not possible to get COVID-19 from the vaccines. The vaccines do not contain the virus.

We hope this clears up some of the misconceptions currently circulating. For more frequently asked questions, visit our vaccine page