As we push forward with the attempt to vaccinate the U.S. against the COVID-19 virus, I continue to be amazed at the remarks that come from people who I would otherwise feel are well-informed. The most recent exchange occurred at a meeting I attended and was voiced by one of the female attendees.
I had asked the group, which consisted of several women, why many young women, including nurses, were deciding not to get the COVID vaccine. The surprise came when some of the reasons had no basis in fact. The vaccine cannot make women sterile and there is no data supporting the belief that the vaccine causes miscarriages, either now or in the future. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend pregnant women get the vaccine. The benefit far outweighs any risks. Pregnant women are much more susceptible to severe disease, as well as hospitalizations and the need for ventilator support.
The last concern I heard is that the vaccine was developed too fast and may not be safe. The technique using mRNA for the vaccine is a process that was developed long before the advent of the COVID pandemic. Pfizer and Moderna took great risks to manufacture at the same time their studies on safety and efficacy were going on to save time. A recent publication in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine confirms the safety and efficacy of the two current vaccines.