With new vaccines available, it’s common for people to have questions about them. Here’s some information about the COVID-19 vaccines to help inform your decision. If you have more questions, talk to your doctor.
Are the vaccines safe?
All three vaccines currently available were reviewed and authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use. The FDA authorizes a vaccine for this use only if it is shown to be safe and effective, after clinical trials have been conducted with thousands of people, and when its benefits outweigh any risks.
Every study and every phase of every trial was carefully reviewed by a safety board and the FDA. The process was transparent and rigorous throughout, with continual oversight and expert review.
The likelihood of a medically significant reaction from getting one of the vaccines is extremely low. Temporary side effects like soreness, headaches, or a mild fever are signs that the body is responding and building an immunity to the virus. They typically go away in a day or two.
How can I be sure the long-term side effects of the vaccine won’t be worse than having COVID-19?
Vaccines don’t generally have long-term side effects and there is no reason to believe the COVID-19 vaccine will be different. To be sure, the FDA and the scientists, health and medical experts, and researchers who developed the vaccines are closely monitoring for side effects and symptoms reported by anyone who is vaccinated, watching out for any patterns that are out of the ordinary. Data will continue to be collected for two years after each vaccine is first administered to ensure they are safe for the long term.
How do the mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna work?
The mRNA vaccines teach your immune system how it can fend off COVID-19, but then it disappears. The vaccines don’t stay in your body or change your DNA.
What is the current status of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine?
In early April the FDA and CDC paused the use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to investigate reports of a rare blood clotting risk. After assessing the situation, a panel of experts convened by the CDC recommended that the pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine be lifted on April 23rd. The panel also recommended that a warning label be added to the vaccine packaging noting the very rare blood clotting disorder risk. Based on the panel’s recommendation, the FDA ended the pause; states and local jurisdictions can now resume use of the J&J vaccine.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Maine’s communities and small businesses hard. And although there’s reason for optimism with vaccines rolling out across the state, lives and livelihoods are still at risk.
The only way to fully repair the economy and keep Maine’s businesses open and thriving is to rein in COVID-19. Wearing masks consistently and effectively is still one of the best ways to do that.
That’s why Maine business leaders, veterans, police officers, health professionals, and more are urging you to keep wearing masks. This isn’t the time to let our guard down. It’s time to buckle down.