Dr. Threlkeld says we need to be transparent about vaccines, that some data is misinterpreted

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 1:19 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2021 at 3:07 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Infectious disease expert Dr. Steve Threlkeld continues to support vaccines and, with the holidays just around the corner, reminds people that it doubles your protection from the virus.

Dr. Threlkeld said in a COVID Q&A Wednesday afternoon that misinterpretation of data could potentially hurt vaccination efforts.

He said that there is nothing that is perfect in this world, including vaccines, and there will be some people who do face side effects from vaccines or oven face a break through case. The doctor said the odds of experiencing complications with the virus are much lower than if someone did not get the vaccine, and the likelihood of dying from COVID-19 drops drastically for the vaccinated.

“You don’t really see the numbers on people who are protected. You don’t prove negatives of people that aren’t getting sick because of that vaccine, but, unfortunately, you know you see people who have made up their minds that vaccines aren’t good and they’re against vaccines. And for every one of these [side effect] reports that we’re going to get, of course, they’re going to say ‘See, I told you. This is a terrible thing. The vaccine is a terrible idea. It’s dangerous because of this one person who had this side effect,’” Dr. Threlkeld said.

Dr. Threlkeld said the odds of developing dangerous side effects are much lower than developing them as a result of actually having COVID-19. He says the best advice is to take the safest road and for medical professionals to be transparent that there are going to be small percentage of vaccinated people who do experience side effects.

Dr. Threlkeld said people who support vaccines need to be careful to not come off as callus to looking at the same information. He brought up a report from a man who recovered from having a vaccine side effect, and still fully supports getting vaccinated.

“People would tell him ‘oh well that’s just one in... six in a million, that that happens to,’ and he points out correctly as his doctor said to him that well ‘it happened 100% to me.’ And so we have to have compassion for people who have these problems,” Dr. Threlkeld said.

Dr. Threlkled says we have to provide people with real numbers in which they can make their own decision on whether or not to get the vaccine. He said while it is up to the individual he still fully believes it is much safer to be vaccinated than not.

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