Vaccines are the No. 1 protection against numerous serious illnesses. COVID-19 has proved to have serious and life-threatening effects on the public, which is why the CDC encourages you to get the COVID-19 immunization.

The COVID-19 vaccine was released at the end of 2020. Prior to the release, the public struggled to understand the future of this pandemic. Now that we have a vaccine, many remain uneasy about receiving it when they hear stories of side effects and long-term safety concerns related to the vaccine. Health experts like Lowell Sensintaffar, MD, a family medicine physician with HSHS Medical Group, want to assure our communities that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and severe side effects are rare.

Sensintaffar says most side effects occur within one to two weeks after the second dose of the vaccine. Most of rare short-term side effects would be evident among the 20,000 study applicants who received the vaccine during the phase 3 trial.

“The FDA has specific requirements in terms of numbers of study participants and follow-up time to detect the vast majority of side effects,” says Sensintaffar. “These requirements have been met. By these parameters, the safety results of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been exemplary.”

Physicians understand the strain and economic toll this pandemic has played worldwide but the results of the vaccine’s effectiveness have been nothing but positive so far.

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