Dr. Jesse O’Shea, an infectious disease fellow and internal medicine physician at Emory University, is on a mission to educate people and alleviate fears surrounding the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccines. Through his writing, he strives to make information digestible for everyone by using relatable examples and language.
According to O’Shea one of the main concerns he hears is about the perceived speed the vaccine was developed and sent to the FDA for approval.
“Some people will say because it is so quick that this must have been rushed with developing the vaccine and that’s simply not true,” O’Shea said. “Since this has been a global pandemic, affecting almost all nations, the trial enrollment has been through the roof and we’ve been able to utilize the huge enrollments of these trials to really gather the data we need.”
“One of the last big vaccines that was approved was the Ebola vaccine and that trial only had about 15,000 or 16,000 people. The trials that we are doing right now are massive,” O’Shea added. “There are more than 60,000 enrollees in one of the trials such as Pfizer.”
O’Shea agrees there could be some reassurance that health care workers are willing to be some of the first to get the vaccine.
“I do think that by the time that it reaches the general public in April or May, by some estimates, the data will be much more robust by then. We’ll have hundreds of thousands of people… millions vaccinated by then,” O’Shea said. “So, the general public should feel comfortable knowing that their friends and family who have been vaccinated in healthcare have tolerated it well and are doing well.”
More with Dr. O'Shea: https://www.jesseosheamd.com/