Coronavirus vaccines have already started to go out in the UK and very soon it’s likely that they will get approved for distribution within the US.
The first recipients of the vaccines will be a targeted segment of the population which will include people like health workers and residents of long-term care facilities,.
As these vaccines start to go out, a lot of people will be wondering about the side effects of the vaccine.
Well, we just got a really good overview of what to expect in terms of side effects with the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.
First, it’s worth noting that the FDA stated that the vaccine showed no safety concerns that could threaten an emergency authorization.
So from a high level, there are no major safety concerns which is pretty encouraging. (These results are based on the clinical trial which included over 40,000 participants.)
The most common side effects were pain at the injection site, fatigue, and headaches. Other side effects including things like muscle pain, joint pain, and the chills.
Just how many people experience side effects?
UCSF Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong said 25-50% of 75,000 patients involved in the Pfizer and Moderna trials experienced some side effects.
So there’s a possibility that only about half of the population will experience side effects.
But the side effects should not worry most people.
For one, they are temporary and typically last only about a day in those who experience them.
Experts remind people that the side effects are also just a result of your body’s natural immune system response.
“It’s your body’s immune system trying to get activated because it’s seeing this new thing and the way that it gets activated is the way you’re feeling which is inflammation,” Chin-Hong said.
“The virus is not in the vaccine, this vaccine is completely infection-free.”
Interestingly, it seems that the second round of the vaccine seems to trigger more of the side effects.
A CNBC article reports one account of someone who did the trial vaccine:
“After the injection, I had the same side effects as the first: localized pain and stiffness, but it was a little bit worse. My arm got sore faster, and by the time I got home, I started feeling fatigued and like anyone would feel if they were coming down with the flu,” said Batalvi.
More significant symptoms presented that evening. “I developed a low-grade fever and had chills,” he said. “That evening was rough.”
So the side effects don’t sound that bad for the most part.
But if you were to experience some of the more severe symptoms like a fever like experience then it’s possible you might want to think about taking a day off of work the day after you receive the vaccine.
So it is probably a good idea to not plan any kind of major commitment or activity days right after you get the vaccine just in case you were to experience some of the more severe symptoms.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.