The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are set to be approved first in our country, require 2 doses, and William Moss, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health told The Huffington Post that only around 5 to 15 percent of vaccine trial participants encountered short-term side effects from the vaccine, which can include:
- Soreness or pain at the site of injection
- Low-grade fever
- Muscle aches
These side effects usually last 12 to 36 hours after the injection. The side effects seen with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were stronger during the second dose, but participants stressed they were largely mild to moderate.
Pediatric infectious disease epidemiologist Yvonne Maldonado explains side effects from a vaccine are actually a good sign. "Most vaccines will have some degree of minor side effects. It is, in fact, the body’s immune and inflammatory response to the vaccine,” she told HuffPo, noting that experiencing side effects means your body is responding properly to the injections.
The experts also note that many of the symptoms can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, like Advil or Aleve. As for possible long-term side effects, the health experts say this will need to be studied in the months and years ahead.
The CDC also notes "the vaccine cannot give someone COVID-19" and "side effects are a sign that the immune system is working."
Find out when you are likely going to be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine, here.