“The NIH set up five different panels of scientists based on they have an African American, they have a Latinx, they have one that deals with geriatric patients, and the Veterans Administration patients and then other Indigenous groups. And they set that up so that we would be able to see the phase one and the phase two data that led to the phase three trial.
“From all the data and information that we have, we know that it’s a safe vaccine, and we know that women who are pregnant are at increased risk for poor outcomes from a COVID infection. And so, I definitely offer the vaccine to pregnant women and am very confident that it is something that is safe to take during pregnancy.”
“Typically, when I’m going to give the COVID vaccine, I’ll let them know when you’re going to get the first dose of the COVID vaccine you might feel your arm very sore. It’s like somebody punched you in the arm, and that’s that type of a soreness.
“I know it sounds very scary, but first you have to understand how viruses work. Viruses in order to infect a person and make them sick, the viruses have to copy themselves. And when the viruses make copies of themselves, they make mistakes.
“It’s hard to then for people to understand the idea that a vaccine wouldn’t protect you 100 percent. Although honestly, the flu vaccine also doesn’t protect you 100 percent, you know? But the people that were vaccinated in the clinical trials,
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“We in this country are really privileged to have a very good, very robust system, that looks at vaccine safety. So, before any vaccine goes on the market there’s been months of tests to make sure that it is safe. Those months before vaccine goes on the market are meant to find common side effects that could be serious.
“The vaccine development did happen quickly. Often times the vaccines take years to develop, and this one happened in a much-condensed timeframe with scientists sharing information in real time across the globe, all laser-focused on the same exact problem. I think one of the things that’s been unique is so many people coming together and partnering in new ways.
“Wherever you go, the vaccine’s always free. No one should be charging people for any of the service when they get the vaccine.”