Mid-Michigan panel of health professionals address community concerns about COVID-19 vaccine

Panel of health experts calling on the public to ask about the COVID-19 vaccine and address community concerns
COVID-19 vaccine administered at McLaren Flint
COVID-19 vaccine administered at McLaren Flint(Eric Fletcher/ WJRT)
Published: Feb. 10, 2021 at 9:51 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (02/10/2021) - The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of uncertainty, including confusion and a lack of trust about the new vaccines that health experts say will help control the virus.

A new U.S. Census survey estimates 24% of Michigan adults who are over 18-years-old say they’re unlikely to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

On Wednesday night, a panel of Mid-Michigan doctors and community leaders are asking the public why.

McLaren Flint Hospital and McLaren Health Plan’s free community webinar called, “Take The Fight to COVID,” is calling on the public to ask about the COVID-19 vaccine directly to a panel of doctors and community leaders.

One of those myths include that the vaccines are not safe because it was developed and received emergency use authorization so quickly.

“These vaccines went through the same rigorous safety and effectiveness standard as all other vaccines in the United States,” Dr. Randall Taylor said.

Taylor is the director of pharmacy at McLaren Health Plan.

Dr. Lawrence Reynolds, the medical adviser to the city of Flint and the Genesee County Board of Health, was also on the panel. He spoke about another concern: side effects. He says common ones include tenderness and fatigue after the first dose and an added low-grade temp for the second dose.

“If you can take the next day off or if you can at least not make any heavy-duty commitments for the 24-36 hours after your vaccination, that would be wise,” Reynolds said.

Another concern is the messenger RNA technology used to make the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine is too new to be trusted. Dr. Taylor says it’s been studied for more than a decade and says it does not contain the live virus. The truth is it teaches our cells how to create the antibodies that will fight against COVID-19.

“What it will do certainly ensure that our cases aren’t going to be as severe as those folks who are not vaccinated, and what does that do? Not only does that help keep our families and communities safe, it also lessens the burden on our healthcare system,” Taylor said.

If you have a question or want to hear other common questions, click here.

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