As Moderna and Pfizer set out to release the vaccine, health experts encourage people to take the vaccine despite the side effects.
“Adverse events are rarer events. …Side effects are common, self-limited and benign,” said Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital.
The most common side effects in Moderna’s Phase 3 trials were fatigue, muscle soreness and aches, joint pain, headache, redness, or swelling at the injection site. According to a preliminary report in the New England Journal of Medicine, more than half of Moderna’s study participants had side effects from the vaccine in Phase 1 of the trials.
Experts say that when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finishes reviewing Phase 3 data for both vaccines, we’ll know who is more likely to experience side effects.
Doctors say that side effects are normal and a sign that the body is reacting to the vaccine.
“Just because you’re sore doesn’t mean that the vaccine didn’t work or wasn’t effective. It just means that your body responded the way it’s supposed to,” Dr. Melanie Swift, an occupational medicine physician said. “It’s important to take both doses or that first dose was all for nothing.”
The long term effects of the vaccine are still unknown. Drug and Safety Monitoring Boards for Pfizer and Moderna reported no serious concerns for their vaccines. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have presented V-SAFE. V-SAFE is a smartphone-based, post-vaccination health checker for essential workers who receive the vaccine. The CDC plans to enroll 20 million essential workers.