Medical Experts Say Americans Have A Right To Know Vaccine Side Effects


While several promising coronavirus vaccine candidates could bring the pandemic to a grinding halt, doctors recommended to federal health officials that those who receive the shot should be wary of the side effects, which could include minor body aches and headaches, so they will return for the second half of the dose.

These recommendations from medical experts were given to advisors with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during an online meeting this week.

From Fox News:

Dr. Sandra Fryhofer of the American Medical Association said on Monday during the meeting with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a group of medical experts that advise the CDC, that the side effects “won’t be a walk in the park.” 

“We really need to make patients aware that this is not going to be a walk in the park,” Fryhofer said, CNBC reported. “They are going to know they had a vaccine. They are probably not going to feel wonderful. But they’ve got to come back for that second dose.”

Two promising coronavirus vaccine candidates, created by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and the biotechnology company Moderna, respectively, both require two doses. Participants from both clinical trials have reported side effects after receiving the vaccine candidate, neither of which have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at this time. (That said, Pfizer, which was the first to announce the results of its vaccine, recently applied for emergency approval for its vaccine from FDA.) 

Earlier this month, one Pfizer vaccine candidate told Fox News that the side effects of the shot were "were a little more severe than I thought."

"I had some side effects," Glenn Deshields, a volunteer from Austin, Texas, told “Fox and Friends” at the time. "Basically, I had a headache and a lot of fatigue, injection site pain ... maybe three to four days.”

“The second one, it was similar but it was much more muted. It wasn't as strong. I think I took some Advil and they basically cleared up,” he said. 

As for the Moderna vaccine, CEO Stephane Bancel last week, following news that the company’s candidate was more than 90% effective in late-stage clinical trials, discussed the shot’s side effects during an appearance on Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria” with host Maria Bartiromo. 

"The second dose, you have a bit of side effect locally, a bit of pain, a bit of redness, but it goes away by itself,” he said. 

"Some people have a bit of a headache," he continued. "It's nice to note that less than 2% of people get a fever, actually 1.4%, so very, very low."

He said the side effects will self-resolve without taking medication. 

“It's actually a good thing in my immunologist always reminds me that having a bit of immune reaction is a good signal that your immune system is working because the vaccine is being activated,” Bancel said at the time.

Meanwhile, during the meeting with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Patsy Stinchfield, a nurse practitioner, pointed out that officials change the wording used when warning the public about side effects. She suggested using the word "response" rather than "adverse reaction."

“These are immune responses,” she said. “And so if you feel something after vaccination, you should expect to feel that. When you do, it’s normal to have some arm soreness or fatigue, some body aches and maybe even a fever. It sounds like in some of these trials, maybe even having to stay home from work.”

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