PENNSYLVANIA, USA — To make people more comfortable about getting a COVID-19 vaccine, Governor Tom Wolf says he wants to separate fact from fiction.
During a news conference, the governor said whenever there is a new vaccine, there is speculation over how safe it is.
Dr. Cynthia Chuang, who runs the Division of General Internal Medicine at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center also addressed concerns.
She reminded people the vaccine's clinical trials involved people of all ages, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and different health conditions. Dr. Chuang says the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are between 94 and 95% effective at reducing the risk of symptomatic COVID-19 infections. For comparison, Dr. Chuang says flu vaccine usually ranges between 40 and 60 percent efficacy.
Dr. Chuang also discussed the safety of the vaccine from the perspective of a physician involved in the process of vaccinating health care workers, dispelling myths such as that the vaccine can’t be safe because it was developed so quickly. She reminded people that patients of all ages, races, and medical backgrounds were involved with the vaccines' clinical trials.
"When it's my turn, I'm going to get vaccinated, and I look forward to that day. I'm going to encourage my family members, and I am going to encourage everybody in Pennsylvania to do the same thing," said Gov. Wolf.
Officials added it is impossible for people who get the vaccine to contract COVID-19 from the vaccine. Many people do experience some symptoms of the illness, including headaches and mild fevers.
The governor reminded residents that the vaccine is available at no cost to those who are currently eligible.
Information on the vaccine, including the state’s vaccine plan, COVID-19 vaccine dashboard, a vaccine provider map and vaccine distribution data can be found here.