“Don’t pass along rumors. Make sure you are talking in terms of facts, making sure you have the right information from the CDC and checking in with your leadership and chain of command.”

Gen. Mark Miley

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

As the Defense Department assists in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it's also important to help distinguish between rumors and facts. Protect yourself from COVID-19 misinformation.

Rumors can easily circulate within communities during a crisis, and we can stop the spread of disinformation by always choosing trusted sources of information such as:






State and local government official websites (Pulaski, Phelps, Laclede) or social media accounts are also good sources for instruction and information specific to your community. 

To further prevent misinformation and protect service members, families and the public, DoD established a rumor control website. The site provides the answers to common myths circulating about COVID-19.

Rumor: The COVID-19 vaccines will tamper with your DNA.

Fact: : That rumor is baseless. mRNA provides a set of instructions to your cells to create an immune response specific to COVID-19. Medical doctors independent of the vaccine development teams have verified that using mRNA will not alter the DNA of our body's cells. The COVID-19 vaccines were created through mRNA technology. They do not introduce DNA into your body.

This rumor is false even for the Janssen vaccine, which uses viral vector (carrier) technology aided by an modified adenovirus. The vector used in Janssen’s vaccine is a harmless adenovirus (like the common cold) that has been modified so it won’t be able to replicate or cause illness.

Rumor: Microchip hardware will be used in a vaccine to track Americans.

Fact: There will not be any tracking mechanisms inside of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Rumor: More people are dying from the vaccine than COVID.

Reports of death after COVID-19 vaccination are rare. More than 339 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through July 19, 2021. During this time, VAERS received 6,207 reports of death (0.0018%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine. FDA requires healthcare providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS, even if it’s unclear whether the vaccine was the cause. Reports of adverse events to VAERS following vaccination, including deaths, do not necessarily mean that a vaccine caused a health problem. A review of available clinical information, including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records, has not established a causal link to COVID-19 vaccines. However, recent reports indicate a plausible causal relationship between the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine and TTS, a rare and serious adverse event—blood clots with low platelets—which has caused deaths.

Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I currently have a positive COVID-19 infection

People with a COVID-19 positive test result or illness symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they recover and meet the criteria for discontinuing isolation. This also applies if you get COVID-19 between a first and second vaccine dose.

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines?

Yes. Your health care provider can help you figure out which vaccines you need to get up to date.

Now that vaccines are becoming available, will I no longer need to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on wearing a mask and social distancing?

The intent of the vaccine is to prevent the spread of COVID 19. In accordance with current DOD policy, if you are unvaccinated, you still need to wear cloth face covings and practice physical distancing to limit the spread of the virus. DOD will continue to recommend wearing masks and practicing physical distancing, for everyone, until pandemic risk of COVID-19 is substantially reduced.

Can receiving a COVID-19 vaccine cause you to be magnetic?

No. Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will not make you magnetic, including at the site of vaccination which is usually your arm. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain ingredients that can produce an electromagnetic field at the site of your injection. All COVID-19 vaccines are free from metals.

Protect yourself, your community from COVID-19 misinformation

Whether spread intentionally or not, COVID-19 misinformation is harmful to individual and public health. Knowing where to find accurate information is important as the way people get information continues to change. It seems it’s fairly easy for bad information to spread, both in speed and scale, due to how a message is written and the nature of where people get most of their news these days. Read more about what the Fort Leonard Wood Community can do here

Various studies have shown that an immune response involving memory T and B cells emerges after COVID-19 infection, but people’s immune systems tend to respond in very different ways to natural infection. Most people generally have a really good response after vaccination and it tends to be stronger than natural infection.


There is some evidence that vaccination can sharpen immunity in people who have previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and recovered. 51 healthcare workers in London were given a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Half of the healthcare workers had previously recovered from COVID-19 and it was they who experienced the greatest boost in antibodies—more than 140-fold from peak pre-vaccine levels—against the virus’s spike protein.

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