"The vaccine is gene therapy". "The vaccine will make you magnetic." "My immune system will protect me". "Getting vaccines causes infertility."
"The vaccine was developed too quickly, I don't want it in my body!". The vaccine is experimental". "The death rate is under 1%, why would I need it?"
No doubt, like me, you've heard at least one of these claims floating around in the community or online. COVID-19 and vaccines has been causing great division within our community.
My first and best point is - Speak to your doctor if you are concerned.
Is the COVID vaccine experimental and dangerous?
We all have a tendency to seek out the information we prefer to support some belief or another that we already have. It's known as 'confirmation bias' and we all do it to some degree.
It is no coincidence for example that most vaccine skeptics hold other extreme or unusual beliefs.
Do not confuse the confidence of their opinions with their accuracy.
The fact is this community situation we are in is far too serious to let confirmation bias carry the day.
Australia has some of the most stringent approval processes in the world when it comes to approving new vaccines and medicines.
Do not believe the information you are seeing suggesting the vaccine is experimental and dangerous.
Like all medical procedures it carries risk (and these are explained before the jab is given), but the overwhelming agreement among experts is it is safe and it works.
Almost everyone survives the virus, so why bother?
It is true that the overwhelming majority of people who get COVID survive. This, however, is far from a reason to not get vaccinated.
Even now with all these controls in place we have almost a thousand people hospitalised in NSW and near 200 in intensive care. Imagine where we would be if we left it unchecked?
The reality of COVID is it causes widespread sickness, hospitalisation and a fair bit of death, especially among the old and vulnerable. If we left it unchecked our health system would be completely swamped.
This would impact us all in devastating ways. Early diagnosis of cancer plummeted during the recent outbreak in the United Kingdom. We all know what that means down the track.
To look at this issue from the perspective of your individual survival rate is simply to ask the wrong question. To be honest it is a selfish and individualistic perspective. We are a community.
Dubbo Regional Council has been working with NSW Health to speak to actual medical professionals about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines to dispel any myths or rumors about getting the jab. We are sharing these views in videos on our council Facebook page.
People like pharmacist Kaail Bohm - a Wiradjuri man who has been a pharmacist in Dubbo since 2007 and addresses some of those exact concerns around the vaccine making you magnetic or getting a microchip inserted (spoiler: those things don't happen!).
There's also some great information from Dr Khyarne Biles, who is an Emergency Doctor and local Wiradjuri-Ngemba woman. She has some advice about remaining calm, and what sort of impact COVID can have on our community members.
- READ ALSO: Regional lockdown decision due on Thursday
The advice of these medical professionals is exactly what we need to hear at the moment, and if you're still on the fence about whether it's the right thing for you to do, reach out to your pharmacist, GP, or seek advice from reputable health websites and organisations - not viral Youtube videos with people proclaiming to be something they're not.
And remember, people are making money from the anti vaccine disinformation industry. Don't be naive and get sucked in.