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COVID19: Vaccine conspiracy theories, myths busted by science

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Any conspiracy theory, fake news or myth about the COVID-19 vaccines making the rounds on social media, are refuted by scientific evidence rebutting claims peddled by anti-vaxxers.

Associate Professor of the Pharmacy Program at the University of Nicosia, Dr Christos Petrou, told the Cyprus News Agency that vaccines are the only tool we have to fight the pandemic.

Dr Petrou did say that vaccinations alone will not defeat the pandemic and that other measures will need to remain, “until we have the capacity to inoculate the entire population and provide full protection”.

He said that scientists are not yet certain over how long vaccinated people are protected for, noting that data is still insufficient, and we would need to wait to reach safe conclusions.

Petrou said the new vaccines seem to offer protection from the new strain of the virus, found in the UK, pointing out that the mutations of the virus do not seem to dramatically change the efficacy of the vaccines.

“Mutations of the new coronavirus have been known for several months that scientists had certainly considered while developing the vaccines. The mutation is part of a virus’ function.”

On the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, Dr Petrou said there are no significant differences between the two apart from storage and transportation conditions and the time the second dose is given.

“A very high percentage of the population must be vaccinated in order to be able to return to fully normal conditions. That percentage should be around 70-80%”.

He said that at the first stage it is important to vaccinate a high percentage of people, possibly around 20% to 25% of the vulnerable groups or those at risk of developing serious symptoms to decongest the health system and to be able to gradually relax measures.