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Health officials say COVID-19 vaccine is safe

"If you want to protect the entire country, you've got to get the entire country vaccinated to a very, very high degree," Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

MIDLAND, Texas — Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is available, many people are lining up to get vaccinated. However, not everybody is for a variety of reasons including the speed with which it was developed and not knowing what the long-term side effects could be.

Health officials met to answer any questions and alleviate any fears people may have about the new vaccine. As Dr. Anthony Fauci said at this panel, the vaccine is safe and people should get it.

Even though it appears that the vaccine was developed in a matter of months, years of work have actually gone into creating the vaccine.

"The vaccine was developed before the American people’s eyes in nine months, but the work that went into the vaccine development has been happening for several years, even up to 15 years, even since the first SARS coronavirus started over a decade ago," Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, a immunologist on the panel, said.

Despite this, people are concerned that they could get the virus from the vaccine itself, which as Dr. Corbett explains, isn't true.

"In regards to not catching the virus from the vaccine, this vaccine only takes an mRNA shot of one particular protein from coronavirus. This protein does not have the ability to replicate like a virus, it has no other components of the coronavirus. It is simply one specific protein," Dr. Corbett said.

Many people have reported similar side effects after receiving the vaccine such as muscle aches and fever. Dr. Fauci said that this means that the vaccine is generating an immune response.

"The muscle aches and the fever and things like that are actually paradoxically a good sign, which means your immune system is really responding to the vaccine," Dr. Fauci said.

Dr. Fauci said that the only way the country can get back to a sense of normalcy is if everyone gets the vaccine, not just a small percentage of the country.

"The fact is is that we’re all in this together. That’s the point. If you want to get, if you want to protect the entire country, you’ve got to get the entire country vaccinated to a very, very high degree," Dr. Fauci said.