Doctor with Mayo Clinic aims to dispel fears about COVID-19 vaccines

Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 6:54 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Nearly 28 percent of the Kansas population has been vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) reported this week. While vaccine appointments are filling up, some remain hesitant when it comes to the vaccines. Among those worries is that vaccines were created too quickly. Health experts are clear that this isn’t the case. Eyewitness News on Thursday, April 1, spoke with a doctor with the prestigious Mayo Clinic to explain why people shouldn’t worry.

Dr. Greg Poland, director for the vaccine group at the Mayo Clinic said the vaccines have been 31 years in the making and what they do is change a vaccine to handle each specific virus. If you’ve held off on getting a COVID-19 vaccine because you think it was created too quickly, Dr. Poland shared information to ease the concern.

“These vaccines have been decades in the making. They were pulled off the shelf and used and began being developed for SARS-COVID-1 in 2003,” he said. “That outbreak stopped and there was no need to continue. It was pulled off the shelf again in 2012 for the MERS outbreak. That was a very limited outbreak. I think you’re going to now see M-RNA and adenovirus vaccines used for a whole variety of infections and diseases.”

Dr. Poland said both the M-RNA and adenovirus technology of the COVID-19 vaccine has been developed over the past three decades. He said you shouldn’t let misinformation be a reason that you don’t get vaccinated.

“To operate on essentially no knowledge and say well, ‘I just think it was created in just weeks or months,’ that already exposes that you actually don’t have the right information,” he said.

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