Should I get a Covid vaccine now?

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The vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer have not been shown to decrease transmission or prevent Covid infection. Transmission is contributing to the spread of the virus, particularly with new highly transmissible variants. You can still get infected and transmit the infection despite being vaccinated. From what I can tell based on the study(1), 185 participants out of about 14- 15K in the placebo group had symptomatic Covid, with 30 of them having severe Covid and one fatality. With those odds, if I am not at high risk for severe illness, why should I get vaccinated now? 

At the moment, there is no evidence the approved vaccines will reduce transmission or prevent infection. The evidence of efficacy is short-term—a study period of about two months after the second vaccine dose. There were significantly more side effects in the vaccine-treated group than in the placebo group. While most were transient, what are the long-term risks of mRNA vaccines?  Sterilization?  Autoimmune disease?  Covid-vaccine resistant strains?  We don’t know! mRNA vaccines are novel, just like the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, that leads to Covid.

Based on current scientific evidence, not getting vaccinated does not put others at risk, unlike not wearing a mask. To immediately reduce the spread of infection, there should be more emphasis on mask-wearing and maybe face shields in public spaces, especially if social distance cannot be maintained.  Masks combined with face shields are more effective in preventing infection AND preventing transmission than vaccines.  

People who had Covid were excluded from the study. Why are they getting vaccinated? There is no scientific evidence Covid vaccines provide long-term efficacy–prevent Covid illness–or prevent Covid infection. It seems the rush to get everyone vaccinated is rooted in fear and not science. We know little about Covid, and we know even less about mRNA vaccines.

Based on the study provided in the link below, I’ll wait for more scientific data before getting vaccinated.  In the meantime, I will wear a mask, a face shield, and social distance in congested public spaces. I’ll also hand wash frequently and wear gloves if necessary.  What about you?  

1. Efficacy and Safety of the mRNA-1273 SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine | NEJM



Author: Angela Grant

Angela Grant is a medical doctor. For 22 years, she practiced emergency medicine and internal medicine. She studied for one year at Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health. She writes about culture, race, and health.

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