COVID-19 vaccines likely to have mild but painful side effects, scientists say

Scientists expect that COVID-19 vaccines will cause flu-like symptoms, including muscle aches and fever, NBC News reported. 

"We are asking people to take a vaccine that is going to hurt. There are lots of sore arms and substantial numbers of people who feel crummy, with headaches and muscle pain, for a day or two," William Schaffner, MD, a professor of preventive medicine and health policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville told NBC

Saad Omer, PhD, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health, told NBC the risks of side effects haven't been properly communicated to the public yet. 

"You need to be ready," Dr. Omer said. "You can't look for your communication materials the day after the vaccine is authorized."

Data from early trials suggests the side effects will be mild, but could disrupt daily life. Eli Perencevich, MD, a professor of internal medicine and epidemiology at the University of Iowa, told NBC that essential workers should get three days of paid leave after receiving a vaccine in case they feel sick. 

How public health experts explain the effects of the vaccine is important to make sure people feel safe taking the shot, Dr. Omer said. Explaining that if it hurts a little, it's working, could be helpful to encourage vaccinations, he said. 

Dr. Omer also stressed that full protection from a vaccine could take a month, and in the meantime people should continue to take measures to protect themselves, such as wearing masks and social distancing. 

Read the full article here.


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