Worried about the COVID-19 vaccine? Local experts explain why it's the 'light at the end of the tunnel'

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In the midst of being in the worst surge of the pandemic in the Valley, health officials are highly encouraging taking the COVID-19 vaccine, callling it the 'light at the end of the tunnel'.

Still, many have questions about the vaccine.

According to the CDC, side effects are a normal sign your body is building protection.

Fresno allergist Dr. Lauren Hiyama says apprehension is normal.

"All immunization have side effects - and we basically weigh these side effects of these immunizations compared to the benefit," Dr. Hiyama says.

Despite the two healthcare workers in the UK who experienced serious allergic reactions after taking the vaccine, Dr. Hiyama just warns people to be careful.

"People who have a history of a severe anaphylactic reaction to a medication of immunization may need to take more precaution," the doctor says.

"For the past nine months, we've been wanting to go back to being normal. And if you want an express path to that, some level of normalcy, it would be to be very proactive in getting everybody immunized," Dr. Hiyama adds.

Carrie Monteiro with Tulare County Health and Human Services says it is impossible to get COVID-19 infection from the immunization.

And even if you've already tested positive, she suggests you still get vaccinated.

"You may have the symptoms of a mild infectious process like body aches, low-grade fevers or chills, but it's not an infectious process... it's just your immune system responding to the vaccine," she says.
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