JEDDAH: As the world reels from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, some people in Saudi Arabia still believe in conspiracy theories surrounding vaccines and have opted against receiving one.
For more than a year now, conspiracy theories have circulated, contributing to vaccine hesitancy, despite the best efforts by authorities to debunk them. Citing supposed efficiency and safety records, and scientific data and research, some still refuse to receive vaccines despite health warnings and restrictions on entering establishments in the Kingdom.
The latest myth claims that cupping therapy, a healing technique widely practiced in the Kingdom, “sucks the vaccine” out of your body.
Though an absurd claim, social media platforms have circulated the news as a false rumor.
Many users on Snapchat and other platforms showed several videos of men claiming that they were infected with COVID-19 after getting cupping therapy.
Arab News spoke to experts who said that it is almost impossible to remove a vaccine after it has entered the body, because the dose is injected deep into muscle tissue.
Another common rumor is that you must adhere to a three-month waiting period in between receiving doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
But this claim was debunked when Ministry of Health spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly said in a press conference several months ago that the MOH recommends receiving both doses within three weeks, in line with guidelines from other health bodies.
Those infected with COVID-19 who had only received one dose were advised to receive their second jab after symptoms disappear.
Along with many health experts in the Kingdom, the spokesman has reiterated the importance of completing second doses to ensure the safety of the community.
Lastly, the infamous “COVID-19 vaccines will alter your DNA myth” is potentially the most damaging.
It began through a social media frenzy when the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were announced to be released and more information about the makeup of both vaccines was circulated.
They use mRNA technology to protect from infection, giving cells signals to build proteins and defend against COVID-19 and its variants. Experts have denied any connection between the two vaccines and DNA. No data from any clinical trial from any study has proven the myth.