DHW will continue to correct misinformation about COVID-19

February 4, 2022
DHW Director Dave Jeppesen

Misinformation is circulating in Idaho across social media and other communication channels that could be, unfortunately, harmful to the health of Idahoans.

You cannot catch COVID-19 from the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s impossible, and this information currently circulating on social media is completely false. The false information being shared states that partially vaccinated people are catching COVID-19 from their first dose of the vaccine, and they are filling up the hospitals.

Why is this false information?

  1. The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain live virus, so it is impossible for the COVID-19 vaccine to cause someone to have COVID-19. 

So why do people think this is happening? Because it takes a couple of weeks for your immune system to respond to the vaccine after the first dose. During those couple of weeks, it is possible for someone to be exposed and become infected with the virus. If someone does get infected after their first dose, it has nothing to do with the vaccine itself. It is because they were exposed to the virus from another person.

  1. The data shows that if you are vaccinated, you are less likely to become severely ill or hospitalized.

In Idaho, 8,033 cases were hospitalized for COVID-19 from Jan. 1, 2021 – Dec. 31, 2021, and:  

      • 89.6% had no vaccine when they became ill 
      • 1.5% were partially vaccinated (received one dose of a two-dose series) when they became ill 
      • 8.9% were fully vaccinated when they became ill 

COVID-19 research is evolving

One of the reasons that disinformation and misinformation has been rampant during the pandemic is because this is a new virus. New information is being shared as research 

expands, and researchers continue to learn more about this virus. New information often leads to uncertainty, and being human, we like certainty. I would encourage you to look for the truth, follow the science, and listen to reliable sources. There is a lot of misinformation and disinformation across social media and other communications channels, and it is not helpful; it is harmful. 

Who are the reliable sources?

  • The Department of Health and Welfare: it is our responsibility and obligation to share accurate and timely information with all Idahoans. You can visit our website, and we also post factual COVID-19 information daily on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • Trusted healthcare providers: If you have questions, talk to your doctor or another trusted healthcare professional
  • Idaho’s Coronavirus Website: see the most current data on cases, vaccine, and more.
  • CDC Coronavirus Disease Website

As the information and recommendations evolve and as we continue to learn more, we will share that with you so you can make informed decisions.

I hope you all have a safe and healthy weekend.



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