UVA Health doctor addresses COVID-19 vaccine concerns

Updated: Mar. 29, 2021 at 3:03 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Many people are questioning the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines. That’s why Dr. Taison Bell is reminding folks who are still on the fence, that corners were not cut in the development of these shots.

“There’s a category of people who really just have questions about the vaccine, how they work, how safe it is, how effective it is. There’s another category of folks who have some questions about the process,” Bell said.

More than 85,000 people in the Blue Ridge Health District have received at least one dose of the vaccine, but there are still many who qualify for the shot who do not trust the science.

“A large section of people say ‘I just want to see how it goes with some other people who get it rolled out first. I want to take a wait and see approach,’ and I think that crowd is starting to move more towards getting vaccinated after seeing millions of people around the country get vaccinated now without any concerning signs,” Bell said.

Bell says these vaccines are effective at preventing severe COVID-19.

“The vaccines really break down soon after they get delivered into your body, so it’s kind of like the UPS truck. It comes, it delivers the package and then it goes away. There’s really no concerning side effects on the long term that people are concerned about. We haven’t seen those signals so far,” Bell said. “In general, it’s very unusual for a vaccine to cause any sort of side effect outside of that first initial weeks after you receive it.”

It’s understandable for people to be hesitant, but Bell assures you each dose administered is another step forward to ending the pandemic.

“The development process was able to be accelerated by funding, the clinical trials process was able to be accelerated by the pandemic, and the manufacturing happened during the course of the trials,” Bell said. “The first vaccine that is available to you is the one that’s going to protect you from that.”

If you have questions about the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines, Bell suggests visiting the Blue Ridge Health District or CDC’s websites for answers.

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