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Caregivers say long term effects of COVID-19 worse than any possible side effects from vaccine

Updated: Dec. 18, 2020 at 6:42 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - There is a lot of speculation about the COVID-19 vaccine, but healthcare workers at University Medical Center say the long term effects of the virus are surfacing and are worse than any potential side effects of the vaccine.

Caregivers have faced a year of endless double shifts, family sacrifices and even the loss of coworkers.

“This strikes close to home for us. It’s one thing to know about it, one thing to know friends and families who are suffering, but then to go in day after day and expose ourselves. This feels like protection and feels like once we all get to this point, we’re not scared anymore,” Chief of Surgery Sharmila Dissanaike said.

Trauma surgeon Brittany Bankhend-Kendall quietly held the needle containing the Pfizer vaccine before it was injected in her arm. With a smile under her mask and eyes locked on the needle, Bankhend-Kendall said, “This is hope.”

Caregivers agree there is limited data available about the long term effects of the vaccine; however, they have already seen lasting effects from COVID-19. Everyone in line today agreed that the Coronavirus has proven to be worse than any unknown effects from the vaccine.

In recent months, they said COVID-19 patients have returned to the hospital with collapsed lungs, strokes, brains that never recover, dead gut or intestinal problems and heart attacks.

“The thought process is that having the effects of COVID-19 are much worse than any little effect I could have from the vaccine. And just what I have seen from the ICU and those patients coming back 40, 50 days later - patients coming back - that’s not something I want or for others,” Pulmonologist Ebstesame Islam said.

Each caregiver took the time to share their research process before receiving the vaccine. Bankhend-Kendall said she read the entire Pfizer-provided document. Dissanaike said the science and the available research proves this vaccine was made carefully and thoroughly tested.

“The MRNA technology has been around for a while, like H1N1 pandemic times back in 2008, the ebola. This has been developed for a long time. Nobody rushed it,” Dissanaike said.

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