Long-term side effects of vaccines nearly non-existent, experts say

Meanwhile, the long-term negative impacts of COVID-19 are serious.

Posted: Aug 5, 2021 4:05 PM
Updated: Aug 5, 2021 7:15 PM

EUGENE, Ore. – With vaccination rates at a near standstill and COVID-19 cases surging, doctors and other professionals are seeking to ease concerns some still have about lining up for a shot.

The long-term negative impacts of COVID-19 are serious, they say, but the long-term negative impacts of vaccines are nearly non-existent. The symptoms of the virus could last more than a year. Which means in theory, you could experience more side effects from the virus itself like brain fog, headaches, shortness of breathe, or loss of taste and smell indefinitely.

KEZI 9 News talked to Harry Scholtz, infectious disease physician at McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center, who said up to 30% of COVID-19 cases have symptoms that last over a month.

“A lot of people are worried about something being a side effect downstream of the vaccine,” Scholtz said. “We now have about a year-and-a-half worth of data on vaccines.”

Experts say there’s not much research supporting negative long-term health impacts of receiving a vaccine.

“It’s pretty clear that there is no long-term side effects that have been identified,” Scholtz said.

Any side effects of the vaccine will show up within the first few weeks. 

"We know that there are some short-term effects: fever, arm soreness and that sort of thing," Scholtz said.

He said the main component of the vaccine, a molecule called messenger RNA, breaks down soon after the injection.

"All you are left with is antibodies that are protective and there's not like there's any long-term chemical or compound or side effect," Scholtz said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since Dec. 14 there have been about 6,500 people in America who died within the same time frame of getting their shot. However, the reports concluded none of those deaths are a direct result of the COVID shots.

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