Video: Mayo Clinic officials talk COVID-19 vaccine expectationsDec 10, 2020 05:19AM ● By Editor
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By Ryan Juntti of WDIO-TV - December 09, 2020
We are all waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine, but there are still a lot of unknowns. On Wednesday, health officials from Mayo Clinic spoke to the public about what to expect when it is finally rolled out.
Health officials acknowledge that people may be skeptical of the vaccines with how fast they have been developed, but they want the public to know they are safe, adding they have been "extremely effective" in preventing COVID-19.
"What we need to do is create a community of immunity," said Mayo Clinic Occupational Medicine Physician Melanie Swift.
That is why Swift and other officials are encouraging people getting vaccinated when it becomes available.
"The more people that are protected against COVID-19, then the more likely that we'll have less hospitalizations, less deaths," said Mayo Clinic Infectious Disease Physician Abinash Virk.
But they do warn there could be some minor side effects from both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
"They both have some degree of what I call mild to moderate symptoms, and reaction to the vaccine, but these are not severe adverse reactions. These seem to be more in the terms of chills, body aches, fatigue, headache," said Virk.
In the UK, two people with a history of allergies appeared to develop reactions to the vaccine, but the severity of them wasn't specified.
Officials say it is too early to tell whether this could be a common trend.
"Looking back at the FDA briefing document of the 43,000 people that were vaccinated, they don't really mention anything about similar anyphylactic kind of reactions, so it's really hard to know if this was a unique circumstance, or is this really going to pan out to be something significant," said Virk.
Still, they say making sure you are vaccinated is the best way to help protect yourself and others in the process.
"These vaccines are a pretty powerful firehose in fighting the fire that is the pandemic, and they're going to be effective tools," said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm.
Health officials say even after getting vaccinated, it is still important to continue to wear a mask.
"Until the majority of the population is vaccinated and protected against COVID-19, the risk of COVID-19 transmission will continue, and thus we will have to wear masks until we have evidence to say that transmission has gone down enough to essentially stop doing any of that," said Virk.
"We can't rip off our mask just because we've had our vaccines until we know for sure if that means we're not getting asymptomatic disease that we could spread," said Swift.
They say getting vaccinated could also become a yearly recommendation much like the flu.
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