To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate?… Medical Experts Agree, the Answer is Yes.

Vaccinations are Safe and Effective. The CDC indicates COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials that included essential safety trials.


COVID-19, pandemic, masks, social distancing… all are words that have become a part of our everyday lives. The most recent word added to our everyday vocabulary is vaccination. The subject of vaccination often brings up questions such as, “To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate?” and “Is it safe?” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), medical experts, and trusted Bluestem Health providers:

  • Vaccinations are Safe and Effective. The CDC indicates COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials that included essential safety trials. Safety trials were conducted for each vaccine and met the FDA’s strict standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality. Furthermore, millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines to date and are under the most intense safety monitoring ever conducted in the United States.

Michael Israel, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for Bluestem Health, stated, “I can assure you they (vaccines) still have to go through all of the normal phases that they would for an FDA approval.” He indicated the vaccines were approved so quickly due to high interest in finding solutions for COVID-19 which increased funding and clinical interest. In other words, money was made available and used for clinical trials and manufacturing to occur at the same time, which is not typical. Also, thousands of people stepped up and were willing to be a part of the trials. It is Dr. Israel’s professional opinion that the current vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are both very effective in reducing the likelihood of getting severe COVID-19 with approximately a 95% overall effectiveness rate.

  • Just the Facts. According to Dr. Israel, the current vaccines in use, nor those in development in the United States, contain the live COVID-19 virus, meaning the vaccine will NOT cause you to “catch” COVID-19.

Side effects from the vaccine are minimal and tend to be more common after the second dose which is indicative of the vaccine having the correct immune response in the body. It means the vaccine is working. Severe reactions are very uncommon, though all sites administering the vaccine have safety measures in place to deal with severe reactions should they occur.

Dr. Israel warns that there is a lot of misinformation out there surrounding the vaccines, such as vaccinations will cause sterility or change your pigmentation. Dr. Israel is very clear about these claims being false. He suggests really looking into information we see or hear to determine if it is accurate before believing it and sharing it. Make sure you are getting your information from a trusted medical expert.

  • Minorities. Minorities are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, making the vaccine a way to equalize and reduce the effects of COVID, as well as reduce the risk of hospitalization and even death. Protection of family is another reason for minority community members to get the vaccination particularly if multi-generations are living together.

Dr. Israel encourages anyone with a question, concern, or skepticism regarding COVID-19 vaccinations to reach out to a trusted healthcare provider for accurate information and advice. They are happy to answer your questions and direct you to valid sources of information.

See below, Dr. Israel discusses COVID-19 vaccinations with Dr. Josue Gutierrez and other health professionals from the Department of Health and Human Services and Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.

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