Health expert says vaccine is safe, developed from ‘decades of science’


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Should Hoosiers be worried about the newly released COVID-19 vaccine?

The United States Food and Drug Administration on Friday issued its first Emergency Authorization Use of the Pfizer vaccine, which was administered for the first time on Monday. With the vaccine coming out at historic speed, some people have wondered whether the vaccine is safe.

Dr. Peter J. Embi, MD, an internationally recognized researcher, educator, and leader in the field of clinical and transnational research informatics, told WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee he believes the vaccine is safe. He said the consequences of not getting vaccinated are more dangerous.

“It was built on many, many years and decades of science that got us to this place of where we can have this platform to build these vaccines. It’s not like all of the science to do this happened in the last nine months. It’s really building on many years of work,” Dr. Embi explained. “The thing that is also reassuring is that because of the work that was done up to that and the studies that have been going on in the summer, we now have quite a lot of experience with these vaccines being tested in humans both for safety and ethical reasons.”

Dr. Embi stressed that he would get the vaccine as soon as he can, and encourages others to do the same. However, some WANE 15 viewers do not agree. Deanna Anders told WANE 15 she does not plan on getting the vaccine because it is still very new and she isn’t sure what the long-term effects are.

“I totally understand our healthcare workers getting it and our elderly but I am in really great health,” Anders said. “I’m just not quite sure if I want to put something in my body right away that I’m not really sure about. We’ll see what happens, definitely not an anti-vaxxer person normally , but it just makes me a little nervous how new everything seems and feel.”

Dr. Embi said he understands that people are worried about how quickly the vaccine was deployed.

He debunked one worry, though:

“There are different kinds of vaccines,” Embi said. “The vaccines that have been developed for COVID for the SARS COVID 2, those aren’t live. There is no way the vaccine itself can give you COVID, that’s absolutely not a concern.”

Embi said the COVID-19 vaccine is not like the flu vaccine where it’s a one and done – the vaccine requires one shot and about a month later another shot is needed. The first shot gives partial immunity, and the second shot is more of a booster.

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