Study supports safety of Pfizer, Moderna COVID-19 vaccines

Vials of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine lined up on a table. (FOX 9)

As the delta variant drives an uptick in COVID-19 infections, a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association is shedding more light on the safety of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.

The messenger RNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response.

"We hope that the data that we present will allay some fears that this vaccine hasn't been well-studied or that the data hasn't been shared with the public, and that's part of our reason for publishing and wanting to disseminate these findings," said Dr. Elyse Kharbanda, a senior investigator with HealthPartners Institute.

Dr. Kharbanda co-authored the study. She and other researchers examined 23 potential side effects ranging from blood clots to seizures and stroke. Analyzing the health of more than 6 million patients, Dr. Kharbanda says findings show that no serious health effects could be linked to the two-dose vaccines.

"It takes time to conduct studies and to do them well and for them to undergo peer review, but we're glad to be sharing the data now and we feel like the results speak for themselves in terms of this is a safe vaccine," she said.

The rollout of vaccines began back in December. In Minnesota, so far more than 56 percent of the total population is fully vaccinated.

"I'm surprised and I guess a little disappointed that we're not in a better place in our state and our country right now," said Kharbanda. "If we can convince those who are hesitant to get vaccinated… we'll be healthier and in a safer place."

It's important to note that the study identified 34 cases of heart inflammation in patients between the ages of 12 and 39. In this study, there were no reported deaths due to the vaccine.