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Still worried about getting a vaccine for COVID-19? Here's how to understand the rare, but real, risks

Post-vaccine health issues are monitored and reported - but remain relatively rare

Whether you're scrolling through your Facebook feed, checking texts from friends and family, or chatting with fellow workmates, you're bound to encounter questions about whether or not it's safe to get vaccinated.

Over a billion of people around the world have signed on to get their shots to ward off COVID-19. But millions are waiting and wondering.

Are these vaccines safe? Do they cause major side effects? What are the long-term health impacts? Can they kill you?

The questions, to some degree, make sense. No drug is risk-free. And there are some known, headline-making adverse reactions following COVID-19 vaccines, including rare cases where people have died.

There's also plenty of misinformation circulating, from debunked studies on vaccination risks to anecdotal, unproven accounts of negative outcomes after a Jeb.

Yet there's also overwhelming evidence that these vaccines are saving many lives while carrying far, far lower risks than the disease they're made to prevent - one that has so far killed almost five million people allover the world.

So why does it sometimes feel like concerns about vaccines are taking up rent-free space in many people's minds?

 Dr Xolani Ndlovu who is the Acting Clinical Director at Mpilo Hospital, puts it this way: If you hear a scary story about someone's vaccination experience, whether it proves true or not, it typically "counts more" on an emotional level than any reassuring safety statistic.

That means navigating fraught discussions around vaccination requires taking a step back to evaluate all the evidence beyond the anecdotes.

"The known threat looms larger in your brain than the numbers that people may bring up to you," she said. "Our brains are just so consumed by COVID."

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

Chuka is an experienced certified web developer with an extensive background in computer science and 18+ years in web design &development. His previous experience ranges from redesigning existing website to solving complex technical problems with object-oriented programming. Very experienced with Microsoft SQL Server, PHP and advanced JavaScript. He loves to travel and watch movies.

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