Will coronavirus vaccines have long-term side effects? An expert weighs in.

Registered nurse La Tanya Forbes, right, is inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by RN Cheryl Birmingham, left, at Memorial Healthcare System, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Miramar, Fla. (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – As COVID-19 vaccines start being administered to frontline medical workers in South Florida, questions continue to be asked about whether people can be confident there won’t be long-term side effects from these shots.

We asked Dr. Aileen Marty that question on Local 10′s “This Week in South Florida” on Sunday, noting that the development and testing periods for vaccines generally take far longer than the sped-up process for the coronavirus shots.

Marty, an infectious diseases expert at Florida International University, explained that the two-month observation period of people who took the COVID-19 vaccines in clinical trials is a time period in which side effects would normally present themselves for a vaccination.

Here is her full response to host Glenna Milberg:

“That’s an incredibly important question, and you’re absolutely right. The study is a two-month study of the numbers of people who had received two doses and had gone beyond their seven days post-vaccination, and that’s where the comparison was.

“Whereas that could be something that we would worry about, the reality is that when we see side-effects from vaccines, we generally see anything significant within the first two months.

“So, it’s not that it isn’t possible, and it is absolutely imperative that we go on and study this beyond those two months for every single one of the vaccines that’s being looked at. But within those two months is when we generally see anything of any significance and rarely do we find anything of significance after two months for side-effects.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden should receive vaccine doses as soon as possible.

“For security reasons, I really feel strongly that we should get them vaccinated as soon as we possibly can,” Fauci said.

Biden has said that he would take the vaccine in public to help allay public fears about it, as have former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Watch the full “This Week in South Florida” segment with Dr. Marty below:


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