COVID Vaccine Myths — Part 6 of 7

Myth #5: mRNA vaccines can make you sick and cause side effects in 75% of people

In early November, a White House correspondent for Newsmax tweeted that “75 percent of vaccine trial participants experienced side effects” from the mRNA vaccine.

This is false.

According to early data from Moderna, released by an independent review board, the two most common side effects were fatigue or headache, both of which occurred in under 10 percent of participants. Less than two percent developed muscle aches or fever.

Pfizer-BioNTech SE’s vaccine produced even fewer side effects, with 3.8 percent of individuals reporting fatigue and 2 percent fever. Less than two percent developed muscle ache or headache.

Now, almost everyone taking the vaccine will experience transient soreness at the injection site (but, for some reason, they didn’t count this on the side effect list).

Florian Krammer, a renowned professor of vaccinology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai,  says these reactions, which typically resolve within 48 hours, are a normal response to vaccines — one that shows it is working as intended.

“You may get elevated temperature, headache, or muscle aches. What happens there is that your innate immune system recognizes that there’s something in your body that doesn’t belong there and sounds the alarm,” he says.

“People need to know. If you feel sick, it’s not because a virus is infecting you it’s because the vaccine is triggering [an immune response].”

In other words, these uncommon side effects actually mean the vaccine is working as it should. By the way, these same types of side effects and the reason for them (that the vaccine is working) is also true of the influenza vaccine.

Over the last week, we’ve heard of two healthcare workers in England who had a serious allergic (anaphylactic) reaction to the Pfizer vaccine. Both were immediately treated and are doing fine now.

Apparently, both of these folks had a history of serious allergic (anaplylactic) reactions in the past and were carrying prescribed Epi-Pens.

Of course, allergic reactions occur rarely with all vaccines. We’ll see over time how common or rare this side effect will be. But, as one expert from Johns Hopkins said, “So, thus far, this isn’t something that people need to worry about outside of those individuals who carry around EpiPens or who have severe allergies to foods, to other vaccines, or to medications.”

Peter Marks, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, says it’s safe for most people with allergies to receive either the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, and only those who previously “had a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine, or one of its components” should avoid getting it. The FDA is urging Americans with allergies to consult with their physicians to ensure that they are not allergic to any of the vaccine’s ingredients.

Until we know more, I suspect the U.S. FDA is going to require the shots in medical facilities that can quickly and effectively handle these types of reactions and will also require those receiving the vaccine to stay at the facility for 15-30 minutes after the injection.

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The above information is adapted from a Yahoo Life Article.

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2020. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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