Dr Kevin Reichmuth, a pulmonary specialist and Colonel in the Nebraska Army National Guard who emphasized the safety of the new COVID-19 vaccines with Gov Pete Ricketts last week gave a similar tele-briefing Monday to the Panhandle Public Health District.
Dr Reichmuth said the speed of development for the vaccines is remarkable and is thanks to the federal government’s commitment to the project as well as the collaboration of public and private researchers.
Two vaccines are currently being used in the U-S, one from Pfizer and one from Moderna. Reichmuth said they are very similar.
Reichmuth said all vaccines have a slight chance of unwanted side effects, from getting the disease to a pair of conditions that produce varying levels of paralysis – Bell’s Palsy and Guillain Barre Syndrome.
The clinical trials of the 2 vaccines resulted in no cases of Guillain Barre and a total of 7 cases of Bell’s Palsy, which is within the normal range.
Reichmuth said claims of spikes in allergic reactions are false, although the rate is slightly higher than for flu shots, while claims that the vaccines alter a person’s DNA or cause infertility are totally bogus.
Several other manufacturers have vaccines at various stages of testing and clinical trials, some using different approaches to combat the disease.
A full recording of Dr. Reichmuth’s presentation can be found on PPHD’s website at: pphd.org/COVID-19