Updated March 2021: Dr. Michael Tehrani, MD is an award-wining doctor and CEO of MedWell Medical whose practice is located right here in Long Beach near the traffic circle. In his desire to educate the community, here is a Q&A with Publisher John Grossi about the concerns and unknowns circulating about the COVID Vaccines currently available to the public!
What are the most common concerns patients have had over the vaccine?
That it was developed too fast. Most vaccines usually take five years or more [to go from development, through testing and approval, to distribution]. Some people are scared it isn’t safe enough yet.
And do you think these are valid concerns?
We can’t compare these COVID vaccines to previously created vaccines using prior methodology. Today we use newer methodology to create a type of vaccine using mRNA technology. We’ve never seen as many resources and as much dedication going toward the development of a vaccine. Our science is far more advanced. Just because something took 5 years to make a long time ago doesn’t mean it should take 5 years now.
So, given the time frame, do you think this vaccine is safe?
The area I look at with this vaccine is when people ask me, “Should I get the vaccine or not?” At the end of the day, you have to look at the pros and cons. What are the risks if I get it and what are the risks if I don’t get it? Yes, we hear on the news that a few people got ill after taking the vaccine. But we also hear of a lot more people getting ill with COVID. You have to ask yourself - what are the risks if I get the vaccine and what are the risks if I don’t get it?
If you look at the data, a LOT more people are getting ill or dying by not getting it [the vaccine] than by getting it. I think everything boils down to risks and benefits. If the benefits outweigh the risks, you should do it.
By now we’ve seen a rapid decline in new cases and death rates with the rollout of the vaccine which proves how effective it is.
Have all of your senior patients been vaccinated?
Most have been vaccinated. However some were initially resistant, but after we educated them, they have become agreeable to be vaccinated.
Is there any type of person with any sort of condition who shouldn’t be vaccinated?
The question I get most is, “If I have multiple medical conditions is it safe for me to get the vaccine?” My response: if you have multiple medical conditions, then you need the vaccine more than most, because every medical condition that you have can weaken your body in fighting the virus should you get it.
The second-most common question I get is, “Can I tolerate this vaccine?’’
If you’ve tolerated any other vaccine you should be be able to tolerate this one as well. People become concerned that they have gotten the flu shot before and had flu-like symptoms when they got it. When you get these mild symptoms, that means the vaccine is working. Your body is building immunity towards a weakend virus. If you’re getting mild flu-like symptoms from a vaccine, which is just a weakened virus, imagine how getting the real virus for the first time would affect you.
With that being said, if you have had a significant reaction to a vaccine in the past, that is when you should discuss with your doctor about getting the vaccine. If you don’t have a doctor you are welcome to join our practice.
If people have already had COVID and beaten it, should they still get the vaccine?
Yes, because getting COVID and beating it does not give you as much immunity as getting the vaccine.
Once people get the vaccine, is it safe for them to go out in public without a mask?
When you get the vaccine, you make COVID less welcome, and when you wear the mask as well, you make it even less welcome. We are trying to make the virus less welcome until COVID phases out. What we are doing right now with the vaccine, the masks, and social distancing is just making COVID less and less welcome. Until it dies out and is no longer a significant threat, we should still take precautions.
I feel we are getting there pretty quickly.
When is the right time for different age groups to get the vaccine?
As soon as you can get it you should. It’s just as important for young people to get the vaccine so that they don’t spread it to their older family members or other vulnerable people.
How do people get the
You can now check with your local pharmacy or the Long Beach Health Department.
Dr. Michael Tehrani is a local geriatrician here in Long Beach by the Traffic Circle. He strongly believes in preventative care, and that if you prevent illness, you won’t have to treat illness.
He believes in Benjamin Frankllin’s famous 1736 words, that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
His office is currently accepting new patients.
If you’re interested in learning more about Dr. Tehrani and his team, please visit:
www.medwellmedical.com or call 562-498-2481.