Coronavirus cases are declining, finally, but the debate over the vaccine is not abating. During the White House COVID press briefing today, an NPR reporter asked about some airline pilots having reservations about getting the COVID vaccine because there may be “long-term side effects” from the vaccine “that could cause them to then lose their medical certification.” In response, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, gave the truth. Read on for five life-saving pieces of advice—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
“Right now on the basis of literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of vaccinations that we’ve had, the safety of these vaccines have been clearly established,” said Dr. Fauci. “When you look at immediate reactogenicity, that’s what the airlines are talking about, about not having a person fly for, I believe 24 to 48 hours after, because we do know that it is not uncommon to get a sore arm or to may get a low grade fever or some aches that almost invariably diminish and dissipate over a period of a couple of days. The long-term effects that the people are apparently concerned about really have—with, I’m sure there is a very, very, very, very rare exception, but the long-term effects are really essentially non-existent in the sense of anything that has been a red flag on the part of the followup of these individuals. So, although one, I guess, can theoretically say I’m concerned about a long-term effect, the fact of the safety and the follow-up over now over a considerable period of time, obviously a year. And so many individuals, we have just not seen that. So we don’t really see any true basis in that concern.”
“We know that anywhere from 10 to 30% of people who get COVID, even when they recover from the organ system issues of COVID, they can get what’s called Long COVID. And we have examples of people—they may not necessarily be pilots, maybe there are some, who actually have gotten COVID and have had an unexplained, but real impacting on their ability to function normally. Getting COVID is far, far worse than getting vaccinated for absolutely certain.”
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Dr. Vivek Murthy, the nation’s Surgeon General, was also at the conference and said: “I would also add note that we see real side effects with the vaccines are very rare. We have a lot of data to show that—consider the alternative. If pilots get COVID-19, the consequences to their health can be significant. The more we’ve learned about COVID, we’ve learned that it not only impacts the lungs, but can impact the nervous system, the cardiovascular system. It can impact the kidneys, impact many systems in our body. This is a serious infection. So the best way to protect yourself against health consequences is actually to get vaccinated.”
“We know that these vaccines work, because when you look at the real world efficacy, including that in the United States, that if you compare fully vaccinated people with unvaccinated, they have a five times the lesser likelihood of getting infected, 10 to 11 to 12 times less likelihood of being hospitalized and a more than 10 times less likelihood of dying. Protect yourself and those around you. Vaccination is the answer to getting us to control.”
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Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don’t travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.