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Bozeman doctor address concerns with COVID-19 vaccine

Posted at 2:31 PM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 16:54:21-05

BOZEMAN — It's been several days since the first Bozeman residents received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Eric Lowe, the medical director for the emergency department at Bozeman Health addresses some concerns people have with the vaccine including its timing.

“I would agree that this was rushed. But in many ways, it was rushed in a good way,” Dr. Lowe said.

Dr. Lowe is not only a medical director at Bozeman Health. He also received the first dose of the vaccine Monday.

“I was honored to be one of the first recipients of the vaccine, and I’m feeling great. I had a small amount of arm soreness but less than what my average annual flu shot brings,” he said.

From a professional and personal standpoint, he says he understands concerns about timing. But there’s a reason why it was able to be produced so quickly.

“Around the world, we had money, manpower, time, effort, and ingenuity all being directed to this in a way that we haven’t seen before,” the doctor explained.

Plus technology seemed to play a part.

“Often vaccines go through studies that are done in a phase 1 and then a phase 2 and then a phase 3. In this situation, in the way that they were able to set things up, they were able to do a lot of things in parallel rather than in sequence,” he said.

So what are some of the risks?

“Mild reactions similar to what one can get from some other vaccines. Most commonly, a little bit of arm soreness, maybe a little bit of redness or swelling at the site. But then again, that’s a vast minority of people and it tends to be mild. Some people might have mild systemic symptoms like feeling a bit of fatigued or feeling achy or worn down. The vaccine can not give you Covid-19. It does not have the virus in it,” Dr. Lowe explained.

Bozeman Health is focused on vaccinating their employees first and is not offering the vaccine to the general public, yet.

The hospital says after they get done vaccinating their employees, they have to get clearance from the federal government before they can offer vaccines to the general public.