UMass Amherst webinar addresses COVID-19 vaccine fears

Hampshire County

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – While leading experts and political leaders continue to advocate for the vaccine, many are still expressing their concerns.

UMass Amherst organized a webinar on Tuesday to help settle fear surrounding the vaccine.

It’s a question on the minds of many, can life return to normal once you’ve been vaccinated? A panel of scientists and health experts at UMass came together to provide some clarity.

“You still can get infected and have a very mild disease. It’s not going to make you sick, you probably won’t even know you’re infected, but you could get a few rounds of viral replication and enough virus that you can transmit it to others,” Professor Barbara Osborne said.

Osborne is a Professor in the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at UMass Amherst. She said before people relax around others, they need to wait until everyone has been vaccinated and is protected.

Another concern is whether people will need to get a Coronavirus booster. Sara Goff is an associate professor at UMass Amherst, in the Department of Health and Promotion, and a practicing med-peds physician. Professor Goff made it clear that the COVID-19 vaccines people are receiving now, will not be their last.

“It’s a coronavirus, it’s going to change it’s going to mutate, we’re probably going to need boosters, our double shot isn’t going to do us for for the rest of our lives, lets put it that way,” Prof. Goff said during the webinar.

When it comes to comparing the vaccines among one another, panelists said there’s not enough information or studies done to confirm which is the “best.”

“I feel very confident that all three have been proven both safe and effective,” Kevin Cranston, assistant commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health said.

Also, highlighted was the importance of community access to accurate information about COVID-19.

For those with individual concerns about the vaccine, the panelists suggested you speak with your regular healthcare provider.

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