Request: any info on likelihood of long term side-effects from covid vaccine
Posted by Ian M on June 1, 2021, 11:32 pm
New boss is trying to get us to take the vaccine on the grounds that it will supposedly reassure our veg box customers, many of whom are elderly and/or 'shielding'. We already took the lateral flow test a week after arrival, having negotiated down from his initial request that we lie about our symptoms and get the more conclusive & rapid PCR test. Not feeling great about the coercive aspect of it... |
My main issue was always that I've never had it persuasively explained to me by someone in the know how we can be certain there won't be serious side-effects in the long term given that the various covid vaccines were all pushed through their trail phases in under a year, compared to the multi-year process that usually has to happen before any vaccine comes into general circulation.
With this request/order from my boss forcing the issue I've given in and started researching it myself but answers are not forthcoming. Remarkably the WHO page doesn't talk about this at all:
only mentioning at the bottom of a click-through article that:
'The nucleic acid approach is a new way of developing vaccines. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, none had yet been through the full approvals process for use in humans, though some DNA vaccines, including for particular cancers, were undergoing human trials. Because of the pandemic, research in this area has progressed very fast and some mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 are getting emergency use authorization, which means they can now be given to people beyond using them only in clinical trials.' - https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/the-race-for-a-covid-19-vaccine-explained
This Johns Hopkins page makes a lot of attempted reassurance, but again nothing on the long-term:
'How was the COVID-19 vaccine developed so quickly?
In the past, vaccines have taken many years to develop. However, the relatively quick development of this vaccine does not mean safety measures were skipped. There are several reasons why the COVID-19 vaccines were developed faster than other vaccines:
The technologies used to develop the COVID-19 vaccines have been years in development to prepare for outbreaks of infectious viruses. The manufacturing processes were ready very early in the pandemic.
Countries shared genetic information about the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus when it was available, which gave vaccine developers an early start at finding a vaccine.
The testing processes for the vaccines didnít skip any steps, but the vaccine developers conducted some stages of the process simultaneously to gather as much data as quickly as possible.
Governments gave money to vaccine developers in advance, so the companies had resources they needed.
Some types of COVID-19 vaccines were created using messenger RNA (mRNA), a new technology that allows a faster approach than the traditional way vaccines are made.
Social media enabled companies to reach out to and enroll study volunteers, and plenty of people wanted to help, so there were enough research participants to test the COVID-19 vaccines.
Because the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is so contagious and widespread, many volunteers who got the vaccine were exposed to the virus, and with so many exposures, the trials took a shorter time to see if the vaccine worked.
Companies began manufacturing vaccines ahead of their authorization or approval so some supplies would be ready if authorization occurred.' - https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/is-the-covid19-vaccine-safe
The NHS page doesn't go there either: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/
The best answer I found was from Which?:
'Speed of vaccine development
Vaccines normally take around 10 years to develop, and the speed with which Covid-19 vaccines have been produced has worried some people.
But there are some key differences with the development of the Covid vaccines that have allowed scientists to produce them quickly without compromising on safety.
Usually the clinical trial stages above have to happen in sequence, with one stage only beginning as the previous one is completed.
For the Covid vaccines these have run in tandem Ė so vaccines have been developed much quicker but without rushing through or skipping any important steps.
The lengthy period of time weíve had to wait for other vaccines isnít because theyíve had 10 years of safety monitoring: itís actually largely down to logistical and funding issues which slow the process down.
With Covid vaccines, thereís worldwide backing for quick results, with funding readily available.
Whatís more, we arenít starting from scratch. Scientists have been developing coronavirus vaccines for years, as this family of viruses is known to be a potential risk to humans.' - https://www.which.co.uk/news/2021/03/what-we-know-about-vaccine-safety/
I found that somewhat reassuring, albeit it's not great that all those people were used as guinea pigs before a lack of serious short-term side-effects had been established. However, the question remains about long-term: how can we be sure these vaccines aren't going to make everybody go blind or get some other nasty chronic condition in 5 years' time? I just don't see how it's possible to know it's safe after just one year...
That'll probably be my grounds for refusal anyway, maybe coupled with a compromise of offering to take regular lateral flow tests if he really insists. Where's the balance point between a customer's safety (or perception thereof) and an employee's human rights to not be forced to take medicines against their will? The govt seems to be passing on the responsibility of dealing with this difficult question onto individual employers, presumably hoping that employees will be too frightened to challenge their bosses for fear of losing their jobs. Colour me surprised...
Info & advice welcome!
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