COVID-19 vaccine side effects, why some people get them
Doctors say side effects are not a cause for concern, but merely a sign that your immune system is building up a response.
Across the globe, millions of citizens in many countries are currently receiving coronavirus vaccinations providing from various drugmakers, which include Johnson and Johnson, AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
However, some people have been wary of being vaccinated due to fears of experiencing side effects such as fever or headache while others have heard anecdotal reports of more extreme reactions including large rashes on the arm or going into anaphylaxis.
Doctors say that severe reactions are rare, and that common side effects, such as pain at the injection site, are a sign that your immune system is building up a response.
nfectious disease experts are analysing the reason some people react to the jab differently and why they do.
The doctors also add that people are more likely to experience stronger reactions after the second dose because the immune system has been primed to fight the virus and mounts a response after getting the final shot, only to realize it’s a false alarm.
WHY ARE YOUNGER PEOPLE HAVING MORE SEVERE SIDE EFFECTS?
As more vaccines have been administered, there have been reports of younger people have more severe side effects compared to younger people.
The doctors say this because immune systems evolve as we age.
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“As we get older, everything about or bodies doesn’t work as well and the immune system is no exception,” Richard Kennedy, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Clinical trial data showed that young people reported more side effects after receiving vaccine doses than older people.
‘The reality is that younger people have stronger immune systems and when you’re older, you don’t mount as big of a response,’ said Robert Murphy, an infectious diseases specialist at Northwestern Medicine, in Chicago, Illinois.
However, it does not mean older people aren’t protected and that the vaccines are still just as protective in senior citizens as in young adults.
ARE WOMEN MORE LIKELY THAN MEN TO HAVE A REACTION?
Also reporting more side effects are women.
Women are more likely to report worse side effects after receiving COVID-19 vaccines than men are, CDC data reveal.
Last month, officials looked at nearly 7,000 reactions reported to the agency’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.
They found that nearly 80 percent of the reactions were reported by women, making them four-time more likely to report a side effect than men.
Kennedy said that the reason behind this is a mix of biological and behavioral.
“Women’s immune systems behave a little differently, they have a more robust antibody response,” he explained.
“They’re also more likely to go to the doctor if something is wrong whereas men are more likely to try and tough it out.”
SHOULD I GET A VACCINE?
All three physicians say that the unequivocal answer is: yes, you should get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available to you.
“The efficacy of these vaccines have been remarkable,” Thad Stappenbeck, Chair of the Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio said.
“Less than one percent of fully vaccinated people are later infected. That’s better than the numbers we’ve gotten in the trials. that’s what we call real-world data.”
Stappenbeck also encourages to prepare for the possibility of having side effects, such as being able to take off work the next day just in case and having an adequate supply of water and Tylenol.
However, he suggests not taking the medication as a prophylactic.
“Wait until you have symptoms if you have symptoms, and then take it,” Stappenbeck said.
“The limit is four grams per day, and you don’t want to overdose on Tylenol.”
The group also adds that any potential side effects you may are less worse than the possibility of getting COVID-19.
“You don’t know how sick you will be until you get infected,” said Kennedy.
“You may be asymptomatic or you might be on a ventilator. Then you’ll say I wish I had gotten the vaccine and, by then, it is too late.”
~ Adapted from dailymailonline report