These Vaccine Side Effects Are "Not Wonderful," Says Doctor
The COVID-19 vaccine is just days away from becoming a reality in the United States. However, before you line up to get your shot, it's important to understand that there are some side effects of the shot, which can effectively prevent the virus that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans in less than a year. And, a group of doctors worry that if people aren't aware of some of the temporary side effects, people may shy away from getting the essential second dose. Read on to learn about the possible side effects, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
The Vaccine Will Not Be a "Walk in the Park"
On Monday, during a meeting with CDC advisors, doctors suggested that health officials and vaccine administrators be transparent about the vaccine's potential side effects.
"We really need to make patients aware that this is not going to be a walk in the park," Dr. Sandra Fryhofer of the American Medical Association said during a virtual meeting with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a group of medical experts that advise the CDC. "They are going to know they had a vaccine. They are probably not going to feel wonderful. But they've got to come back for that second dose."
According to CNBC, participants in both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine trials reported a variety of symptoms, including high fever, body aches, bad headaches, and daylong exhaustion. However, while the symptoms were unpleasant and sometimes extreme, they often went away in less than a day.
Patsy Stinchfield, a Children's Minnesota nurse practitioner, suggested that using proper language could be effective in relaying to people that the side effects are not as bad as they might seem, using words like "response" instead of "adverse reaction."
"These are immune responses," she said. "And so if you feel something after vaccination, you should expect to feel that. When you do, it's normal to have some arm soreness or fatigue, some body aches and maybe even a fever. It sounds like in some of these trials, maybe even having to stay home from work."
Dr. Grace Lee, a professor of pediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine and member of the ACIP, also pointed out that these temporary side effects are mild compared to the symptoms of coronavirus, and the overall impact it could have on a person's life.
"If they have to miss 14 days of work, that's a huge amount to miss," said Lee. "I think we do have to think about that the vaccine itself. While there may be some short term work loss issues, I do think that has to be balanced with the risk of getting an infection."
How to Survive the Pandemic Until There is a Vaccine Available to You
As for yourself, follow Dr. Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene and to protect your life and the lives of others, and don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.