San Diego doctor says COVID-19 vaccine is 'perfectly safe'

Posted at 12:51 PM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 15:51:52-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A local doctor says even though a COVID-19 vaccine will be available soon, it will still be several months before we see the impact.

Dr. Mark Sawyer, an infectious disease specialist at Rady Children’s Hospital, is on the State Advisory Board that reviews COVID-19 vaccines. He spoke to ABC 10News about the importance of getting this vaccine.

“The vaccine is safe, and it works, and we absolutely need this vaccine to deal with the pandemic,” Sawyer said.

However, Sawyer added a warning: “If people suddenly think that we’re out of the woods now, and stop wearing masks and distancing from each other, then we’re going to still see the kinds of numbers that we’re seeing right now.”

Despite intense discussions among the FDA advisory panel regarding whether Pfizer’s vaccine is safe to use on 16- and 17-year-olds, Sawyer points to the research that was done, saying the drug was tested on individuals from that age group.

“There’s no reason to think that a 16-year-old or 17-year-old is going to have a reaction that an 18-year-old is going to have. I think it’s perfectly safe,” Sawyer told ABC 10News.

Sawyer also described the side effects one may feel after getting the vaccine. Sawyer said a recipient’s arm may hurt and he or she may feel under the weather. The symptoms can last up to 24 hours after you get the vaccine, but Sawyer said, “There’s no long-term consequences.”

As San Diego waits for the county to announce their vaccination plan, informing people when and where they can get it, Sawyer said the bottom line is “everyone can feel comfortable in going out to get the vaccine when it’s their turn.”