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Why aren't we talking about possible long-term negative effects of the COVID-19 vaccine? | Why Guy

No life threatening issues have been reported from the clinical trials involving three leading pharmaceutical companies — Moderna, Pfizer and Astrazeneca.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Today's Why Guy question from Ken Shine, who asks, "Why aren't we talking about possible long-term negative effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?" 

Ken, there are many people who won't get the vaccine for a number of reasons. The long term negative effects, if any, are unknown. The COVID-19 vaccines have been in development for about six months, where a normal efficacy process can take up to six years. So, what's the worst thing that could happen if you do get the shot? A sore arm? Or that the shot isn't effective on you? 

"The worst thing that could happen is having an allergic reaction that could be associated with pain, anaphylaxis then death," Dr. Tom Hopkins, a Roseville physician and ABC10 medical expert, said. "Vaccine injections can be associated with an unknown reaction called Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which causes transient muscular paralysis and, rarely, death from this reaction. However, none of that has occurred in clinical trials that we know."  

Clinical trials involving three leading pharmaceutical companies — Moderna, Pfizer and Astrazeneca — have combined for over 90,000 vaccines on volunteers, and as Dr. Hopkins said, no life threatening issues have been reported. Each person considering getting a vaccine will have to judge their own medical risk versus the reward.

A recent Harris Poll found only 58% of Americans saying they'll get a vaccine. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases [NIAID] Director Dr. Anthony Fauci says 75%-85% of the population getting the vaccine is what's needed to achieve herd immunity.    

"The benefits of the shot outweigh the risks. The shot is highly unlikely to kill you but COVID-19 can," Dr. Tom Hopkins said.

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