How safe is the coronavirus vaccine? Medical experts answer your questions

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Huge news in the race for a coronavirus vaccine as the United Kingdom becomes the first to authorize the use of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccination.

This is a landmark moment in the pandemic that paves the way for the first doses to be rolled out across the country next week. It also opens the door for other countries to follow in suit.

Medical experts like Brown University’s Dean Ashish Jha say he expects authorization from the FDA in the United States in about 8 or 9 days. However, with a potential vaccine just days away, would people actually get it?

Jason Tremblay of Cranston says he would, but he still has a lot of questions.

“When is it going to be done? When is it going to be my turn?” Tremblay said. “When will it be available for people like myself that are not first responders and are just regular town folk?”

Tremblay says while he’s concerned how quickly they’ve been developed, he’ll do it if it means an end to the pandemic.

“In order to kind of turn to a simple normal life or any sense of normalcy. I feel it’s just one of those things you’re going to have to do,” Tremblay said. “It’s just like wearing the masks. Even though you may not agree with it, in order to get stuff done you’re probably going to have to do it.

Others say they’ll wait and are concerned about how safe it actually is.

ABC 6 News spoke to vaccine expert Dr. Karen Tashima who is on the Rhode Island Vaccine Subcommittee. We asked if she and her family would get the vaccine.

“Absolutely, we all are excited,” Dr. Tashima said. “I’ll feel much more protected when I walk around and do my daily activities.”

Dr. Tashima says while the process has been quick, that doesn’t mean it’s been rushed. She says every step to test for safety has been done.

Pfizer’s vaccine showed a 95% efficacy rate and Moderna’s showed a 94% efficacy rate.

“People who are going to get it first are going to be healthcare workers and probably people in nursing homes,” Dr. Tashima said. “We’ll see how those groups of people do with the vaccine and then people will have a better idea.”

While the research is there, she says part of the battle is getting people to trust it.

“I think the benefits of a vaccine that’s really effective, causes only minor issues for a day or two after getting the vaccine is worth it.”

Categories: Coronavirus, Cranston, News, Providence, Rhode Island