Side Effects of the COVID Vaccine, According to Dr. Fauci
Get your COVID-19 vaccine. As soon as it's available to your demographic. Please! That's the message of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Once 75% of us (or possibly more) are vaccinated, we can start to return to "some form of normality," Fauci says, and shots are becoming more and more available: The Trump administration just recommended all vaccines now be administered to those 65 and older, or to those with pre-existing conditions. If you're worried about possible side effects, read on to see some that Fauci has mentioned, and others from the CDC—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
You Might Get a Fever
Dr. Fauci didn't "get any fever, chills or muscle aches" after getting his vaccination but you might, with a temperature that may rise above 100.4 degrees. "To reduce discomfort from fever," advises the CDC, "drink plenty of fluids" and "dress lightly."
You Might Get Chills
You might get chills as your body gets accustomed to the vaccine, or due to the fever. "Small price to pay for protection against COVID," Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, a vaccine expert who wasn't involved with the study, told AP.
You Might Have a Pain in the Arm
Dr. Fauci called his shot "relatively benign" saying he got an ache in his arm. You could, too, and "it starts about 8 to 10 hours after the vaccination. It lasts no more than 24 to 36 hours," he says.
You Might Feel Tired
Tiredness is a natural response to any vaccine. "It's normal to feel slightly drowsy or sleepy in the hours after a vaccination, especially if it was a stressful event for you or your child," reports Johnson Memorial Health.
You Might Get a Headache
"Fauci told attendees that he was encouraged by the data around side effects for Moderna's vaccine — which were mild and included arm soreness, headache, and fatigue," according to AAMC. He said the side effects were "by no means going to be a showstopper. 'It's going to be one of those things where you say, 'The value of it certainly overrides the inconvenience of feeling poorly for awhile.'"
You Might Have Swelling if You Have Had Facial Fillers
After getting the Moderna vaccine, some patients who had cosmetic facial fillers "all had swelling and inflammation in the area that was given the filler. A couple of the patients had cheek filler six months prior to their vaccine and one patient had lip filler done two days after the vaccine. All were treated with steroids and antihistamines and all of their reactions resolved," board certified dermatologist Dr. Shirley Chi told ABC News.
It's Highly Unlikely, But You Might Have an Allergic Reaction
A rare few people have reported going into anaphylactic shock after getting the vaccine. "There have been 21 cases of severe allergic reactions, which brings it to an incidence of about one every million…almost invariably in people with a history of severe allergic reactions," Fauci said during an interview with members of the Internal Medicine Residency program at Washington University in St. Louis. "So yes, there is an adverse event, but it is easily manageable." "This is still a rare outcome," Dr. Nancy Messonnier, head of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said recently. "Right now, the known and potential benefits of the current Covid-19 vaccines outweigh the known and potential risks of getting Covid-19." If it happens after the first dose, skip the second dose, advises the CDC.
How to Survive This Pandemic
As for yourself, follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, 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, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.