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Dr. Fauci Details "Adverse Effects" of COVID Vaccine

"There’s a considerable amount of effort to continue to look at the durability of the efficacy, but also safety issues.” 

A "safe and effective" coronavirus vaccine is here, and will soon be approved for an emergency use authorization (EUA). So how does it feel when you get one? Any adverse effects? Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the guy Barack Obama says he trusts the most when it comes to the safety of the vaccine, was asked just this yesterday. Read on to hear his take on any adverse effects, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

"You May Start Seeing Some Effects," Says Dr. Fauci

Dr. Fauci says there haven't been any terribly worrying adverse side effects reported so far—and that, if any show up, it may be a while. "Remember we had 30,000 people in the Moderna trial and 44,000 people in the Pfizer trial," he told CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta during "COVID-19: Chasing Science to Save Lives." "Once you start implementing the actual utilization of the vaccine in a clinical setting, you're talking about millions of individuals getting vaccinated. So you may start seeing effects in some that might not have been picked up when you were dealing with thousands," he continued. 

"If you look at the adverse effects," he said yesterday during Columbia University's The Dean's Grand Rounds on the Future of Public Health, aka "2020: The Year of COVID-19 with Dr. Anthony Fauci," "one of the things that I think the general public didn't fully appreciate that if you go back to the history, as you well know in vaccinology, and you look at what are considered intermediate and long-term effects, more than 90 to 95% of them occur within 30 to 45 days of the actual vaccination. And that's the reason before the EUA is issued, the FDA demands that there be at least 60 days from the time that 50% of the people in the trial have received their last dose of the vaccine. So we're now well beyond that in both the Moderna and the Pfizer product—however, there still will be up to two years of followup, not only for the durability of the effect of efficacy, but also for safety. So as clinicians who are out there and having our patients being vaccinated, there is, baked into this process, a considerable amount of effort to continue to look at the durability of the efficacy, but also safety issues." 

Previously, he has said some adverse effects might be "the fever and a pain in the arm."

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Those With an "Allergic Tendency" Should "Be Cautious," says Dr. Fauci

There is one side effect that concerns Fauci. "If I were a person that had an underlying allergic tendency, I might want to be prepared that I might get a reaction and therefore be ready to treat it," Dr. Fauci said during a talk this week with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta during "COVID-19: Chasing Science to Save Lives." He advised those dealing with it—"that they might be cautious about vaccination, or at least be prepared to respond with some sort of antidote to the allergic reaction."

Fauci broached the topic when asked if he was concerned about the two healthcare workers in the UK, who suffered a reaction shortly after receiving the vaccine on Tuesday. It led UK health authorities to warn that anyone with a "significant history of allergic reactions" should not be given the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. 

"Well, it obviously is of some concern because there are people who have what's called allergic diathesis or a tendency to get allergic reactions. I believe that both of those individuals did in fact have that tendency," he explained.

However, he isn't surprised, as "these are the kinds of things that happen when you implement large vaccine programs."

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How to Avoid COVID-19 Until You Get Your Vaccine

As for yourself, follow 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.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more