Dr. Fauci weighs in on potential long-term side effects

Some people in Oregon are hesitant to receive the new COVID-19 vaccines. Some don’t want to be “first in line” to receive a new vaccine and may be concerned about long-term side effects. These are good questions and concerns.

The COVID-19 vaccines were developed in record time, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t safe. The vaccines went through rigorous testing ─ and included a large cross-section of society including those who have been systemically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic ─ before being offered to the general public. So far, more than 52 million doses have been administered in the United States since mid-December, and adverse reactions have been found to be very rare.

In a fireside chat with the National Education Association on Jan. 28, 2021, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and chief medical adviser to the Biden administration, was asked about the long-term side effects of COVID-19 vaccines.

Dr. Fauci answered, “If you look at the history of vaccines, you know that virtually all long-term adverse effects of a vaccine occur between 15 and 30 days after you get the dose – 45 days at the most. When you get a vaccine allowed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), such as with the emergency use authorization, you have to wait 60 days from the time half the people in the trials got their last dose and observe safety before it can be used on the public. If almost all of the long-term adverse effects occur within 45 days, you’ve gone beyond that if you wait 60 days, so the chances of there being long-term effects are vanishingly small.”

This article first appeared in the Feb. 18, 2021 issue of Oregon Coronavirus Update.