The Side Effects of COVID-19 Vaccines

It has currently been a year since COVID-19 hit the world, causing everyone to stay secluded in their homes. Having and wearing a mask has become a daily norm now. With the recent news of the COVID-19 vaccine coming in, people have been hoping that this will all soon be behind us. However, they also worry that any life-threatening side effects may occur from the vaccine.

Currently, there are two vaccines that the CDC authorized and recommended to prevent the virus in the United States: Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Three other vaccines are still in phase three trials.

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine use mRNA, which contains a harmless material from the virus that causes COVID-19. The material is called the spike protein that is found in the surface of the virus. The mRNA vaccines are used to teach our bodies to make a protein that would set off an immune response in our bodies. The immune response produces the antibodies that protect us from getting infected if the virus enters our bodies. 

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires two shots, each of the shots would be 21 days apart from each other. It is also recommended that people 16 years and older should receive the vaccine. The Moderna vaccine is two shots taken 28 days apart and is recommended for people that are 18 years or older. Both vaccines do not contain any eggs, preservatives, or latex.

The CDC states that during clinical trials for both the vaccines it was reported that the most common symptoms the participants would experience would be pain, swelling, and redness around the arm where they got shot. Other symptoms the participants experienced were chills, tiredness, and headaches.

However, once the vaccines were released to the public, there has been news that some people have had severe allergic reactions, known as anaphylaxis (which can be life-threatening if not given an injection of epinephrine immediately), right after they were given the shots. Although, it is rare to have anaphylaxis and studies have shown that it mostly happens to people that have a history of allergies.

Some of the less allergic reactions people have experienced are rash, irritated throats, and constant itching and scratching.

Since the vaccines are new, it is normal for them to have reactions to the human body. Researchers have mentioned that you may feel under the weather after the vaccine is injected because your body is getting ready to fight against the virus.

Overall, the vaccines are still being monitored to know if any other unknown symptoms may occur.