Munson Minutes: Are the COVID-19 Vaccines Safe?


In this episode of Munson Healthcare’s Munson Minutes, Rebecca talks vaccine safety with Joe Santangelo, MD, Munson Healthcare Chief Quality and Safety Officer. Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe? How were they developed so quickly? What about the potential for allergic reactions?

This short conversation includes:

  • Why the COVID-19 vaccines are considered safe in trials and are showing to be safe in real life
  • Concerns over allergic reactions and why local facilities are prepared
  • How these vaccines were able to be developed quickly

More of your frequently asked questions surrounding COVID-19 vaccines are answered here:

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ

Watch the Video:

Are the COVID-19 Vaccines Safe?


Hey there – it’s Rebecca here with the Munson Minutes. Today I’m at Munson Medical Center and I’m talking to Dr. Joe Santangelo, Munson Healthcare’s Chief Quality and Safety Officer and we’re really going to be talking today about vaccines.

Thanks for being with me here today, Dr. Santangelo.

Joe Santangelo, MD, Munson Healthcare Chief Quality and Safety Officer (Dr. Santangelo)

Thanks for having me!



So Dr. Santangelo, are the vaccines safe? I really want to make sure we get to the root cause of people's questions.

Dr. Santangelo

Yes, the vaccines are safe. We've given millions and millions and millions of doses now. It was safe in the trials, and now in real life, it’s safe.

There are some people who can have allergic reactions to this vaccine, just like you can have allergic reactions to peanuts, or to amoxicillin, or other medications. So it’s important that you get your vaccine in a place where you’re going to be monitored. Every location in Michigan giving the vaccine is taking those precautions and is ready to take care of you if that should happen.

Other than that, it is a very safe vaccine. I have no hesitations about getting it myself or recommending it to friends and family.


Okay great. So in your opinion, do you think this vaccine was approved too quickly? It seemed to get on the market pretty fast.

Dr. Santangelo

It’s a great question, and this vaccine did get to market relatively quickly. The thing to remember is that any vaccine, including these COVID-19 vaccines, must follow a very specific set of steps in order to be approved for use. These vaccines follow those exact same steps.

It was such a priority for our country that everyone got in line to make sure that those steps went as smoothly as they could go. But the same steps for safety, and how well it works, and would there be side effects… All those same steps were followed.

The flu vaccine every year is decided on in April and is delivered by the fall. So having a vaccine made in a relatively short period of time and is very safe is something that we've done before. We did it with this vaccine. It’s very safe and it didn't skip any steps.


Thanks again, Dr. Santangelo. This was really helpful information.

Thank you for joining us for Munson Minutes and we'll see you next time.

Questions? Ask a Nurse!

Please call our Munson Healthcare Ask-a-Nurse team to discuss any of your COVID-19 vaccine questions. We’re here for you 24 hours a day at 231-935-0951. More FAQs are also available here

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ