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Vaccine anxiety? Getting the facts may help

Posted at 6:35 AM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 18:18:50-05

As the battle against COVID-19 rages on, there is hope on the horizon. Two effective vaccines are now on the market, and a third is expected to be approved soon.

For the past year, the virus has presented many challenges, and public health officials now face the challenge of "vaccine anxiety" -- fear of the vaccine and any potential side effects

Dr. Amy Khan, Executive Medical Director for Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah says, “We need to assure these folks that these side effects whereas they may occur, won’t last very long and will go away.”

Khan says people can expect the usual, minor side effects caused by almost any vaccine. “You have a sore arm, you might feel a sense of achiness, fatigue, maybe a little feverish, these aren’t that uncommon, but they resolve within three days.”

The goal, says Kahn, is achieving herd immunity and getting society back on track. She says she's hopeful the new vaccines will help get us there.

“These vaccines are safe, they are effective and really most importantly, will allow us to achieve herd immunity so we can fully recover our economy, get back to work, and get back to school.”

One of the most common misconceptions with the vaccines is the notion that one can become sick from the vaccine itself, but that's not possible according to Dr. Khan.

“The new COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any live virus, killed virus, no infectious material, so there is no way a person could acquire Sars 13 CV through receiving one of these new COVID-19 vaccines."

While in recent days case numbers of COVID-19 infections appear to have reached somewhat of a plateau, Dr. Khan stresses this is no time to ignore basic prevention methods.

“This is driven in part by all of us continuing to practice those personal preventive actions like hand washing, physical distancing, wearing our masks.”

Confident the COVID-19 nightmare will eventually come to an end, Khans says it's in all of our best interests to get the vaccine and stay the course together.

“This is a group effort. We’ve already lived through a year of this. We’re still on our way to continue to be successful in managing this pandemic, but we’re not through it yet, and we need every bit of us, everyone working together to achieve success through the pandemic.”

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