By: Laura Vitelli
January 31 2022
Evidence so far has shown that vaccines are extremely effective and safe.
Evidence so far has shown that vaccines are extremely effective and safe. Dr. Robert Malone, an immunologist who has spread misinformation on COVID-19, recently made a speech at a rally in Washington D.C. which was organised by the activist Robert F. Kennedy. In the speech, he repeated several false claims, including the claim that "the full nature of the risks of the vaccine are still unknown." While there are things that medical science has yet to definitively establish about the vaccines, such as their effectiveness against new variants and how long their protection lasts, there are many reasons why the international medical community is confident in the long-term safety of the COVID-19 vaccines. Some online commentators have expressed concern about the apparent "newness" of mRNA technology, but the use of mRNA treatments against diseases is not new. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has been the first instance of their mass production and uses in vaccine form, they have been extensively studied and used against diseases like Zika, rabies, and influenza. mRNA technology has also been used in cancer treatment research to trigger the immune system to target specific cancer cells. Others have worried that the vaccines were developed too quickly to ensure their safety compared to other vaccines, which have sometimes taken years to develop. However, this speed was made possible because of massive private and public funding, which removed the financial obstacles that often delay research projects. The safety-testing and approval processes have been just as rigorous as they have been for other vaccines in the past. All vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, are subject to thorough testing to ensure their safety and efficacy. In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continually monitor the safety and effectiveness of vaccines through both active and passive surveillance systems. "Long term effects" must not be considered separately from side effects, as they are merely side effects whose connection with the vaccine is perceptible only after enough people have been inoculated for a pattern to emerge. In other words, if a side effect occurs in only one in every million people, the connection will only become apparent when several million people have been inoculated. For instance, it is now known that blood clots are a very rare side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine that affects a maximum of four to six people in every million that receive their doses. As of January 18th, around 529 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been given in the United States. There is now more than enough data to confidently state that the vaccines are safe for the overwhelming majority of people. All COVID-19 vaccine side effects are monitored. While it is too early to establish all potential side effects and reactions, the evidence so far has shown that vaccines are extremely effective and safe. It is misleading to suggest otherwise.