Ask An Expert: What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines?
Excerpts and edited notes for this blog were referenced from an “Ask An Expert” KCBS radio station 740 FM segment on December 7th, 2020 at 9:20 AM hosted by Stan Bunger. The following information was prepared by Jessica Yi. This blog is presented for viewers to validate, accept and/or decline its content and findings on their own.
Ask An Expert
Governor Newsom announced Monday that California will likely receive as much as two million doses of coronavirus vaccines by the end of December. Those first doses will all go to high-risk populations including healthcare workers and people in nursing homes and aggregate living situations. But many might choose to forgo the vaccine until more is known about possible side effects. “We don’t know long term, we don’t know effects in certain groups like immunocompromised people, our pregnant population,” said Dr. Desi Kotis, Associate Dean of UCSF’s School of Pharmacy and Chief Pharmacy Officer for UCSF Health. “Vaccines usually – most drugs really – are never tested on those populations. And with trials starting just this past summer, it simply is not possible at this point to know for sure how the vaccine can impact a person a year or several years down the line.
“So we don’t know long term. We do know short term,” Dr. Kotis explained. “High fever is one of the side effects, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, nausea; nothing acetaminophen or an aspirin or ibuprofen wouldn’t cure.”
While there is still information to be collected about the vaccines, the major vaccine candidates from Pfizer and Moderna have been tested on a wide variety of people of different ages, ethnic backgrounds, lifestyle and health.
“There’s quite a few folks represented in those cohorts and we will find out more long term,” she said. Pfizer plans to follow the participants in its vaccine trial for two years to study the drug’s impact.
“But really the side effects and the safety right now, what we have seen thus far – and this is again manufacture data from Pfizer – is that the benefits of receiving a vaccine really do outweigh the mild side effects.”