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US COVID-19 Vaccination Coming Soon: Doctors Warn Of Side Effects

Public health officials and drug manufacturers should warn people that coronavirus shots can have side effects so they know what to expect and are not afraid to receive a second dose, doctors insisted during a meeting with CDC consultants. Writes about it CNBC.

Photo: Shutterstock

The recommendations are coming in as states prepare to roll out potentially life-saving vaccines as early as next month.

Dr. Sandra Frihofer of the American Medical Association said the Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna require two doses at different intervals. As a medical practitioner, she said she was worried about whether her patients would return for a second dose due to the potentially unpleasant side effects that might occur after the first injection.

“We really need to inform patients that this will not be easy and enjoyable,” Freehofer said during a virtual meeting with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, an external group of medical experts who advise the CDC. “People will get the vaccine and probably won't feel great. But they have to come back for a second dose. "

Participants in the Moderna and Pfizer coronavirus vaccine trials told CNBC in September that they experienced high fever, body aches, severe headaches, weakness and other symptoms after being vaccinated. Although the symptoms were unpleasant and at times severe, participants said they often went away every other day, and sometimes earlier, and that it was better than catching Covid-19.

Both companies have acknowledged that their vaccines can cause side effects similar to those associated with mild Covid-19, such as muscle aches, chills and headaches.

On the subject: COVID-19 Three Vaccine Race: What You Need to Know About Each Drug

One North Carolina woman in her 50s who participated in the Moderna study said she did not have a fever but had a severe migraine that made her exhausted during the day and unable to concentrate. She said she woke up the next day feeling better after taking Excedrin, but added that Moderna may need to advise people to take the day off after the second dose.

“If it works, people will have to brace themselves,” she said. - The first dose is not a problem. But the second dose will definitely knock you off your feet for the day. You will need to take a break after the second dose. "

During a meeting on Monday, November 23, Dr. Nancy Messonier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said the agency will work to develop guidelines in case a healthcare professional gets the vaccine and feels unwell the next day.

“How does this affect planning at the hospital level in terms of which staff get vaccinated on what day?” She asked.

Patsy Stinchfield, a nurse practitioner at a children's hospital in Minnesota, said officials and drug manufacturers might try to communicate side effects in a more positive way. She said they could use expressions such as "response" instead of "backlash."

“These are immune responses,” Stinchfield said. “And so you should expect to feel something after being vaccinated. It is normal for you to feel some soreness or weakness in your arms, body aches, and possibly even fever. It looks like some may even have to stay at home. "

Dr. Grace Lee, professor of pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, agrees. She notes that the coronavirus infection can harm the entire family.

“If they have to miss 14 days of work, it will be a huge amount of lost money,” Lee, an ACIP member, told the CDC. “I think we should consider getting vaccinated. While there may be some short-term problems with having to stay home after vaccinations, I think this needs to be balanced against the risk of infection. "

Stinchfield said that some people in trials were disappointed when they didn't develop the side effects others had when they thought they received a placebo.

The committee meeting came three days after Pfizer and its partner BioNTech filed an emergency use of the coronavirus vaccine with the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA process is expected to take several weeks, with an advisory committee meeting to review the vaccine scheduled for early December. Some Americans may receive their first dose of vaccine in about a month.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York.

ACIP is expected to convene an emergency meeting to make specific distribution recommendations once the vaccine is approved by the FDA.

Federal agencies are already sending out vaccination plans to staff. Five agencies began telling employees that they could receive the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna in just eight weeks, a person with knowledge of the plans told CNBC.

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