Scientists assure Americans COVID-19 vaccine is safe & effective

The latest polling showing there’s still a lot of skepticism out there over the safety, and effectiveness.
Health professionals address concerns regarding the vaccine.
Published: Dec. 3, 2020 at 8:49 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - With a COVID-19 vaccine fast approaching the experts are imploring Americans to get on board. The latest polling showing there’s still a lot of skepticism out there over the safety, and effectiveness.

“I can assure everyone that there has been no compromise in safety,” said Dr. Kathleen Neuzil. Director Center For Vaccine Development and Global Health.

Dr. Neuzil is on the front lines of Operation Warp Speed; the country’s moon-shot effort to get a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines developed and distributed in record time.

“We have about a 95 percent efficacy against any disease and an almost 100 percent efficacy against serious disease,” said Dr. Neuzil, noting the side effects are mostly mild; similar to other vaccinations.

“We’re not seeing any signals for safety in the short term and again it’s important to remember that most vaccine side effects do occur in the short term,” said Dr. Neuzil. Short-term meaning if there were issues they would have surfaced within a week - or at most a month or two after the vaccine was administered.

“And that’s why we’ve waited on trying to get some of these vaccines through to FDA review because we needed to wait for those safety signals to be evaluated,” said Dr. Buddy Creech, Director, Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program.

And for anyone wondering how they’re doing it so quickly, there are some pretty simple reasons.

“One reasons that it’s occurred is because we’ve been so laser-focused on committing all of resources both time and financially to finding an end to this pandemic.,” said Dr. Creech, noting the removal of some red tape is also paving the way for a faster process; allowing them to get ahead each step of the way without cutting any corners.

“We haven’t changed how we do the protocols, we haven’t changed the steps in the process. we’ve done them the same way we always do,” said Dr. Creech.

And, they’re confident, as long as people get the vaccine, the end is in sight.

“We can have an impact on this pandemic very, very quickly,” said Dr. Neuzil. “We can save lives, we can keep people out of the hospital, we can get people back to work, we can get children back to school.”

And those side effects go the experts said what their seeing are things like fever, and headache, the feeling of being rundown, or a sore arm at the site of the shot. Again, they stress these are similar to side effects you may see with more commonly known vaccines.

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