Infectious disease expert: Vaccine's safety, effectiveness outweigh side effect concerns
With the U.S. poised to approve the first coronavirus vaccine, there are some concerns that a vaccine could have more side effects than just a sore arm or fever.
Pfizer's findings showed that that four people in the vaccine group, out of thousands, reported developing Bell's palsy. The findings also say there is no true connection between the vaccine causing it in trial participants and being in the general public.
Dr. Paul Nee, an infectious disease expert with Nuvance Health, isn't concerned about the findings.
"It's not going to dissuade me, as a health care worker, from getting the vaccine at all," he says. ""The flu vaccine, in a good year, might be 80% effective. This vaccine is 95% effective. It's pretty spectacular. So I think with that, and with the safety, I'm rolling up my sleeve and I'm getting it."
"Let's say if we took 100,000 people, we might see 10 to 20 people getting this condition, Bell's palsy, over that year," says Nee.
The FDA echoed that there is no concrete correlation, but the agency will be keeping a close eye on it. "There is no clear basis upon which to conclude a causal relationship at this time, but FDA will recommend surveillance for cases of Bell's palsy with deployment of the vaccine into larger populations," it said.