I continued to get questions about the safety of the RNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) for COVID-19. At this point, I can say unequivocally that these vaccines are safe.
People ask about long term side effects, but we are almost a year out from the initial vaccine trials and given that hundreds of millions of people have now received these vaccines any long-term side effect should already be apparent. The rare blood clotting problem identified with the Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines demonstrates that long term problems should be identified by now even though those vaccines were given to many fewer individuals.
There is now also good information in high-risk groups that these vaccines are safe. Data from over 32,000 pregnant women has not identified a single problem that would raise concerns for either the mother or an unborn child.
Adolescents down to age 12 have now been shown to be able to safely get the vaccine but to have 100%(!) of efficacy in protection against disease. In young people, the vaccine can also be given with routine vaccines that they need to protect against other diseases. Hopefully this will help catch up many of the vaccines children did not get due to the pandemic.
Importantly, the real-world data now shows the vaccines are as safe and effective as the clinical trials had predicted. They have protected elderly residents of nursing homes and health care providers from COVID-19 despite significant exposure to the virus. This removes any doubt about the efficacy of the vaccines. This type of data has led to the reduction in mask requirement and should eventually normalize our lives.
I have also been asked why the vaccinated population is continuing to “push vaccines” on non-vaccinated individuals. As a vaccinated physician I can state it is very unpleasant to watch people become seriously ill and die from COVID-19. Non-vaccinated people are continuing to die from this disease especially those with medical problems or pregnant women. However, even appearing healthy individuals in their 40’s are also becoming ill and still dying.
If you aren’t vaccinated and not concerned about your own health, please consider those around you who might be infected by you. These individuals may have immune problems or other medical issues. They have no choice in this matter.