What I tell my patients about the COVID vaccine

I tell them it is safe. I took it, my wife took it and my children and their spouses have taken it (except for my daughter who lives in Brazil and can’t get it).

I tell them It may have side effects, but they are generally mild. For me it was a fountain of youth! I woke up in the middle of the night with my legs aching like growing pains. So, it made me feel like I was seven-years-old, but only until the next day.

I tell them the vaccine was not developed “too fast.” There has been a tremendous amount of basic scientific research into viruses, the illnesses they cause, and possible treatments over the past 40 years. When I started practicing medicine, there was basically nothing to treat for viral illness. But because of AIDS and other severe viral illnesses, a lot has been learned and it was that knowledge that enabled a vaccine to be made quickly.

I tell them Covid is a bad disease. It is not the flu. The flu/influenza usually causes between 25,000 to 60,000 deaths in a year. Covid has caused 550,000 deaths. In addition, if you don’t believe wearing masks, washing hands and staying home when you are sick is helpful, how else can you explain that only 1,500 people died from the flu this year.

I tell them that Covid does not play nice. If you are old, diabetic, obese, or have other problems and if you get it, you can die from it.

I tell them that even if you are healthy, you can catch Covid and spread it to others less healthy people like your parents, grandparents, friends or neighbors.

I tell them that even former President Trump got the vaccine.

I tell them that it doesn’t really matter which vaccine you get, but if you are a young female, especially if you are on birth control, if you do not want the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, get another one. That is not unreasonable.

But I encourage all of them to get the vaccine and encourage you to get it as well.

Dr. David Pesses, MD

Practicing in Gloversville since 1980

Nathan Littauer Hospital, Family Practice


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