Health experts across the country and in the City of Buffalo are on a mission to convince people the COVID vaccine is safe according to NEWS 4 (WIVB-TV).

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A national survey taken by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 27-percent of Americans are still skeptical about the COVID vaccine.

The rate is higher for Black Americans. 35% say they aren't comfortable and won’t get the shot. Buffalo's Dr. Raul Vazquez from Urban Family Practice tells us it’s going to be critical that people are educated with the facts about the vaccine.

“But there’s going to be a lot more education in the community, because the people who need to be in the front of the line, might be in the back of the line because they’re scared.”

According to the same survey, more than 30% of people living in rural areas are hesitant to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there are many strict protections in place to help ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe.  COVID-19 vaccines go through a rigorous, multi-stage testing process, including large trials that involve tens of thousands of people. These trials, also include people at high risk for COVID-19, to identify any common side effects or other safety concerns.

Once a clinical trial shows that a COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective, independent reviews and safety evidence is required, including regulatory review and approval in the country where the vaccine is manufactured. Part of this process also involves a review of all the safety evidence by the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety.

An external panel of experts convened by WHO analyzes the results from clinical trials and then recommends whether and how the vaccines should be used. Individual countries decide whether to approve the vaccines for national use and develop policies for how to use the vaccines in their specific country.

After a COVID-19 vaccine is introduced, WHO supports health officials in each country,  to monitor for any safety concerns on an ongoing basis.

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