Medical official says COVID vaccines are ‘the safest and most effect’


ST. LOUIS – A leading St. Louis medical official is turning up the heat on individuals and groups who are critical of the COVID vaccine. 

As COVID restrictions were eased, Busch Stadium returned to full capacity last month. While there has been a very strong push by local officials for residents to get the COVID vaccine, it has been strongly criticized by some groups and individuals.

Critics have questioned whether the COVID vaccines have been rushed through production and whether they would be safe or effective. Some have labeled the vaccines as experimental because they have not yet received full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA.)

Some questioned if the vaccine causes infertility, or changes a person’s DNA, or alters the immune system. About 60 percent population in the St. Louis region is still hesitant or unwilling to get the shots.

The head of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force Dr. Clay Dunagan says don’t believe the critics. 

“We do know that there are many individuals who are still holding out, some are waiting for the (FDA) to approve the vaccine that is a formality in our view, but we do believe it will come,” Dunagan said.

“Others have other opposition to the vaccine, and we’re trying to work out a way through those reasons, and show people that these vaccines are literally among the safest and most effective vaccines ever produced.”

“And really, you should not listen to people who tell you otherwise. The facts are incontrovertible with billions of doses having been administered, he added.

The pandemic task force says that one year ago – with no vaccines available in this region – the numbers were better than today.

As the Delta variant of the virus spreads, 253 COVID patients are hospitalized and 89 are in an ICU in the St. Louis region.

Fox 2’s Dan Gray has reached out to local groups and individuals who have been critical of the vaccine, but have not heard back.

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