As physicians who took an oath to care for people and who have looked closely at the data, we want to share information so you can make good decisions about choosing a COVID-19 vaccination. By choosing to get vaccinated, you can protect your own health and the health of your family.
Here’s some information:
- COVID-19 vaccines are given with NO OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS to Americans.
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe, with most people experiencing little or mild side effects, including muscle pain, fever and nausea. Severe reactions, or anaphylaxis, has been reported in only 2.5-11 people per 1 million; 0.00025 percent–0.001 percent, and no deaths reported from vaccinations.
- All vaccines are 100 percent effective at protecting people from severe illness that can lead to hospitalizations and deaths.
- The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are 95 percent efficacious at preventing infection; for comparison, flu vaccines are 40 percent-60 percent effective, measles vaccines are 90 percent effective and the polio vaccine at 100 percent.
- The vaccines did not skip any safety steps and were developed from existing technology, which helped speed their development.
- The vaccines do not contain the live COVID-19 virus.
- Messenger RNA (mRNA), oil and salt are the only ingredients in the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
- The Johnson & Johnson vaccine (paused on April 13) contains a modified common cold virus that cannot replicate; acids; ethanol; 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HBCD); polysorbate-80 (also in ice cream); and salt.
- No evidence exists that COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility, and in fact 23 women got pregnant during trials; on the other hand, COVID-19 can cause infertility in men.
- Because COVID-19 vaccines are relatively new, data is still being gathered and concerns about long-term side-effects are reasonable. Vaccines rarely cause long-term side-effects. Safety data on COVID-19 vaccines is reported to a national program called the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. This data is available to the public. The CDC has also created v-safe, a smartphone-based tool that allows users to report COVID-19 vaccine side effects.
Vaccinations can safely return America to normal, by ethically and effectively helping the nation reach herd, or community, immunity after vaccinating 70-90 percent of the population. Additionally, faith leaders, including Pope Francis and Robert Jeffress, urge people to get vaccinated, calling vaccinations a moral choice and a “present from God.”