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Can’t wait for the covid-19 vaccine? Here are 3 side-effects you need to know about

Published on:22 December 2020, 10:51am IST
We’ve all been awaiting the covid-19 vaccine with bated breath. But turns out the vaccines deployed in the West have been causing some side-effects. Here’s what you need to know
Geetika Sachdev
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The side-effects of covid vaccine. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

As much as we hated staying at home almost the entire year, we did so to keep ourselves safe from the novel coronavirus. The deadly virus has been keeping health practitioners on their toes all-year round and we are just discovering what this virus can do to the human body! The good part is that after much research and various clinical trials, a covid-19 vaccine is on the cards in India, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. After all, who wouldn’t love to get their freedom back? 

Now this is not the first covid-19 vaccine in the world. Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna have already taken the lead on that. Now, both these vaccines use bits of genetic code to cause an immune response and are called mRNA vaccines. This type of vaccine does not alter human cells, but merely presents the body with instructions to build immunity to covid-19.

There are some parts of the world that have already got a taste of these vaccines, but all’s not well. Although these vaccines have over 90% efficiency, they also come with some side-effects. 

Yes, you heard it right. As they say, everything has its pros and cons—same goes for the covid-19 vaccine. So let’s not waste any time and learn about the side-effects of covid-19 vaccine. It’s better to be prepared than be taken off guard later! 

1. Pain around the injection site

We all hate getting injections, don’t we? But once we do, it’s generally a prick and you tend to forget all about it! Well, this does not hold true in the case of the covid-19 vaccine. As we know, the vaccine is administered in two doses, three weeks apart. According to recent data collected from 37,586 participants who enrolled in an ongoing clinical trial (phase 3), 18,801 received the vaccine, while 18,785 have received a placebo.

covid-19 vaccine
Covid-19 vaccine is the most awaited thing in the world right now. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The most commonly reported side effect was an injection site reaction. There are cases of redness, warmth, mild swelling and firmness around the site. In some cases, people found it a little difficult to move their arm, because of the pain.

2. Fatigue, headaches and muscle pain

These side-effects were observed in a large percentage of the participants, who received the vaccine. Fatigue was seen in 63% of the participants, while headaches and muscle pain affected 55% and 38% respectively. Generally, these symptoms are mild, and get better within a day or so. Some people also reported chills, joint pain, and fever—but these symptoms only occured with the second dose, which is more intense.

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3. Serious illnesses

The reported rate of serious adverse events is less than 0.5% with the covid-19 vaccine. There have been four cases of Bell’s palsy in people who were administered the vaccine in the US—however, medical practitioners say there’s no cause of worry, because they are consistent with the rate of this disease in the general population. There is no further research to show that it was certainly caused by the vaccine.

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.