Charles D. Radis, D.O., clinical professor of medicine in the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNE COM), has penned an op-ed to the Portland Press Herald, in which he writes that the benefits of the new COVID-19 vaccines outweigh any potential risks.
The “Maine Voices” column, “New vaccine offers powerful protection against despair,” ran in the Portland paper on Jan. 2. In it, Radis reflects on his current experience as a volunteer COVID-19 vaccinator at Maine Medical Center while discussing the importance of vaccination – even amid uncertainty about the vaccines themselves.
“Legitimate questions remain regarding the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines, but let’s put these important issues into perspective and celebrate a remarkable achievement,” writes Radis, the recipient of UNE’s 2020 Pioneer of Osteopathic Medicine Medal. “After only 11 months since the first patient was sickened with COVID-19 in the United States, there is hope that the worst of the pandemic will soon recede.”
Radis expands on the question, “Are the vaccines safe?” by likening the COVID-19 vaccine to other methods of harm reduction by stating that, “most of us accept risk without reason.”
“Each day, we make an effort to avoid unacceptable risk. We move indoors when a thunderstorm races across the sky. We check our clothes for ticks after a hike. If we have elevated blood pressure, we consider medications to lower the risk of stroke or heart attack,” he says. “Even with the risk of side effects, the majority of us choose treatment over avoidance, action over inaction.”