COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects & Long-Term Safety

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Vaccines are the number one protection against numerous serious illnesses. COVID-19 has proved to have serious and life-threatening effects on the public, which is why the CDC encourages you to get the COVID-19 immunization.

The COVID-19 vaccine was released at the end of 2020. Prior to the release, the public struggled to understand the future of this pandemic. Now that we have a vaccine, many remain uneasy about receiving it when they hear stories of side effects and long-term safety concerns related to the vaccine. Health experts like Lowell Sensintaffar, MD, a family medicine physician with HSHS Medical Group, want to assure our communities that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and severe side effects are rare.

Dr. Sensintaffar says most side effects occur within one to two weeks after the second dose of the vaccine. Most of rare short-term side effects would be evident among the 20,000 study applicants who received the vaccine during the phase 3 trial.

“The FDA has specific requirements in terms of numbers of study participants and follow-up time to detect the vast majority of side effects,” says Dr. Sensintaffar. “These requirements have been met. By these parameters, the safety results of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been exemplary.”

Physicians understand the strain and economic toll this pandemic has played worldwide but the results of the vaccine’s effectiveness have been nothing but positive so far.

To make an appointment for a COVID vaccine, community members can schedule online as outlined below, or they can call 1-844-216-4707 to make an appointment at any HSHS COVID vaccine clinics.

COVID-19 vaccinations are available in St. Clair, Madison or Sangamon counties for anyone 18 years and older who works or lives in Illinois. In Macon County, vaccines are available for community members 18 and older who live or work in Macon County only.

Appointments are required and are scheduled through a free HSHS MyChart account. Visit: https://www.hshs.org/HSHS/Find-a-Vaccine/vaccine-availability to find a vaccine clinic near you or sign up online at https://www.hshsmedicalgroup.org/MyChart

For a COVID vaccine appointment, the public can sign up for our online patient portal called MyChart. It is free and easy to create an HSHS MyChart account:

Go to www.hshsmyhealthrecord.com

Login or Create a MyChart account by clicking “Sign Up Now.”

Under Quick Links, click “COVID-19 Vaccine Link”

Click “COVID-19 Vaccination” to schedule a FIRST DOSE vaccine appointment.

Following the FIRST DOSE, you will need to schedule the SECOND DOSE

If appointments are full, please check back as additional days and times will be added based on available vaccine supplies and clinic days. We appreciate the public’s patience during vaccine roll outs. All vaccine clinics are by appointment only. No walk-ins.

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