Concerns over COVID-19 Vaccine with real "fact" answers

Kidder County District Health Unit

11/29/20210 min read

The constant battle over vaccine misinformation is exhausting for us here in public health. We hope here at KCDHU we are trusted, local healthcare providers within the community. We hope people trust us to give them accurate health information, especially about COVID-19 since we “live and breathe it” everyday. Below you will find more recent “concerns” we have heard about the vaccine and real talk answers from us here at the health unit.

Concern: The vaccine is too new. I don’t trust the technology

Fact: mRNA vaccine technology research started DECADES ago – the reason no large vaccine manufacturing company has utilized it yet is because of the strict, and frankly inconvenient, storage and handling of the vaccine. Who wants to store vaccine on dry ice or order a special ultra-cold storage unit when a different type of vaccine technology allows it to be stored in the fridge. Also there are no preservatives in the vaccine so the temperature control has to be tight to allow the mRNA to remain stable and viable. Once the government assumed all financial risk for COVID-19 vaccines, companies were more willing to use the technology since it worked with the spike proteins.

Concern: It came out way too fast.

Fact: The clinical trials for the vaccine were the same amount of time and contained similar numbers of participants as trials for other vaccines. Period. Timeframes on the development of the vaccine were decreased since: a new technology did not need to be developed – we already knew about mRNA vaccines; the FDA was continuously monitoring data during the trials – instead of allowing the trial to end, company submit data to the FDA, await a response, then proceed, etc; we had so many different countries/groups/experts working on a solution at one time with no financial risk and no red tape.

Concern: I worry about the side effects

Fact: Absolutely. We want people to question what is going into their body. At this point, over 450 million (!) doses have been given worldwide – with over 196 million fully vaccinated people in the US. We have more data on this vaccine than any before. Common side effects are usually short lived – meaning they last less than one day as a result of your immune system doing its job. We tell vaccine recipients: drink water, get rest, and eat well the day you receive the vaccine.

Common side effects: injection site pain, fever, chills, body aches, joint aches, headaches, feeling tired

Rare side effects:

-Anaphylaxis (allergic reaction) – Occurs often immediately after vaccination. This is why we prefer you to wait 15 minutes post-vaccine in the ambulance hall so we can monitor and respond in the rare event this happens

-Myocarditis/pericarditis – after an mRNA vaccine, especially in young males. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, fast heart rate. It usually occurs within one week of getting the vaccine. Most patients that received medical care recovered fast with medicine and rest and were able to return to normal life. Rate is 5x more likely after vaccine than baseline. However, the rate is 19x more likely if you get actual COVID.

Concern: We don’t know about long term health effects

Fact: As with anything – you need to weigh the risks/benefits. Yes, we don’t know data from 10 years from now on the effects of this vaccine, however side effects that would cause long-term health problems are highly unlikely after any vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccines. What we do know is the long-term health effects post-COVID-19: continued fatigue, shortness of breath, mental fog. More and more studies investigate other problems – like COVID-19s effect on pregnant women, increase in lung transplants, etc. Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you from preventing something that we KNOW causes long term health problems.

We are so happy to answer any questions or give more information about the COVID-19 vaccines to anyone interested – we’d love to hear from you. 475-2582