Global Politics Science

Covid-19 vaccines: safe and trustworthy

Dom Smith uses data to show how safe the Covid-19 vaccines are

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Image Credit: U.S. Secretary of Defense

THE COVID-19 vaccines are safe, and we are all rightly encouraged to get our doses when they become available. A tiny minority of people have developed blood clots when they have taken the Oxford AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccination. However, the numbers are worth reviewing.

For every million doses administered, just over ten people have suffered the clots. To put that into perspective, dying in a hurricane is nearly twice as likely, and being killed by a meteorite could be as much as 32 times as likely. And those are the odds of just getting the blood clots.

It is natural for some to be anxious about the vaccine, but the vast majority of people who have taken the jab report either no after-effects or simply effects like drowsiness that are regularly associated with most vaccinations. Like all developed vaccines, the various Covid-19 jabs went through rigorous clinical trials, being tested on cells, animals, and then on humans, before being approved.

The most up-to-date statistics on how the UK vaccinations programme is going were released last week. At that point, 57.5 million doses had been given; 23.7 million people were fully vaccinated. That is to say that they had had both doses of the vaccine. 42.4% of adults have been fully vaccinated. In Wales, an incredible 84% of adults have had at least their first jab.

In an era of false information and panic caused by fake news, the Coronavirus pandemic has seen data used more responsibly, but trusted about as little as ever before. Social media has housed a lot of the rumours, false information, and unsubstantiated claims which have caused panic and confusion among the public. This is why the source of information has become ever more important.

According to data on the gov.uk website, for people aged between 18 and 29 (university age for most students in the UK), a first dose of any of the vaccines reduce the chances of “catching and passing on the infection” by between 60 percent and 70 percent. The second dose in- creases the reduction. At this point, catching and passing on the infection is 85 percent less likely than for someone at the same age with neither dose.

As the time approaches when students and other young adults can get hold of their first and second doses (now over 25 year olds are elligable), we must trust in the vaccines and trust that they’re safe. And not out of blind trust, but because the evidence is clear. The Covid-19 vaccines are safe.

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