My father-in-law, William Glazier, was a pediatrician for roughly half a century. And he was a really good one. He took care of literally thousands of kids, and their kids, in the greater Boston area.
Every Thanksgiving, after the turkey had been eaten and we were waiting for dessert, he would get out his black bag, pull out a small vial of flu vaccine, and quietly let us know when it was our turn to get our flu shots. Some of the kids were reluctant and he had to resort to tickling them first. When he would actually stick in the needle he would say, “Ouch,” followed by 1, 2, 3 as he pushed the liquid vaccine into our arms. It literally took about three seconds and it was painless.
Today we have a new kind of shot to take for this pandemic that is a safe and effective vaccine. But about 30% of the population is afraid of getting theirs. Given the fears of some at our Thanksgiving dinners, I can understand that some people might be reluctant to get their vaccination. Here’s why you shouldn’t be afraid.
According to the CDC:
- Over 63 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through February 21, 2021.
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met FDA’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization (EUA).
- Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines, and these vaccines will undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. This monitoring includes using both established and new safety monitoring systems to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe.
Think about it this way. As of now, there have been over 28 million cases of Covid-19 in the United States and 504 thousand have died from their infection. Since the vaccine has come out, there have been 63 million doses of it given, and no deaths directly linked to the vaccine. And every case of the small number of people who have died around the time of receiving a vaccine have been thoroughly investigated and found not to have died due to the vaccine. That’s really reassuring. Some people have no side effects. It’s true that many people have mild side effects after COVID-19 vaccination, like
- pain or swelling at the injection site,
- a headache, chills,
- or fever.
Minor reactions like these are common. It is true that a small number of people have had a severe allergic reaction (called “anaphylaxis”) after vaccination, but this is extremely rare. That’s why vaccination providers have medicines available to effectively and immediately treat the reaction. It’s also why you will be asked to stay for 15–30 minutes afterwards, so you can be observed in case you have a severe allergic reaction and provided treatment in the rare case it is needed.
When I got my vaccine I couldn’t help but think about my father-in-law…Ouch, 1, 2, 3! It’s a small price to pay for staying well, and staying alive! And the only concern I encourage you to think about is how soon you can say…Ouch, 1, 2, 3.
Yours Menopause Mentor,
Mache Seibel MD