The CDC must be transparent about the side effects people may experience after getting their first shot of a coronavirus vaccine, doctors urged during a meeting with CDC advisors. Dr. Sandra Fryhofer said that both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines require two doses and she worries whether her patients with come back for a second dose because of potentially unpleasant side effects after the first shot. Both pharmaceutical companies acknowledged that their vaccines could induce side effects that are similar to symptoms associated with mild COVID-19, such as muscle pain, chills, and headache.
Public health officials and drug makers need to warn people that coronavirus vaccine shots may have some rough side effects, so they know what to expect and aren’t scared away from getting the second dose. Dr. Fryhofer said “we really need to make patients aware that this is not going to be a walk in the park,” 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.” Participants in Moderna and Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine trials said that they were experiencing high fever, body aches, bad headaches, daylong exhaustion, and other symptoms after receiving the shots. While the symptoms were uncomfortable and at times intense, the participants said they often went away after a day, sometimes sooner and that it was better than getting COVID-19.
At the end of the day, vaccines work, researchers have spent countless hours developing, testing, and providing vaccines to prevent deadly illness. As caregivers, we need to determine who and when we vaccinate our staff and residents. If side effects are miserable and last a day or more, do we want to immunize everyone at one time? Maybe we take a multi-step approach to reduce the risk of having a building full of sick seniors and no staff to care for them! Be cautious, read the recommendations, and do the right thing!
Stay the course, stay strong, stay well, mask up, and stay tuned!