COVID-19 Vaccines: How It Feels Like?


Day 258: Stay Safe Minnesota

When you get an injection of the vaccine, you induce a response. In some people, they don’t feel anything. Others feel an ache in the arm. Some may feel an ache in the arm and kind of a little chilly feeling, almost like you have a flu-like syndrome, and in a minority of people, they get a fever.

Two vaccine manufacturers, Pfizer and Moderna (both use new mRNA technology), have recently applied for emergency use authorization to the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and they are reportedly closer to authorization decision. Many participants from the US and around the world have participated in the vaccine trials. Some volunteers have started sharing their experiences with the reporters.

Yasir Batalvi, a 24-year-old recent college graduate from Boston area, shared his experiences with CNN. Batalvi recently told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta that it was “definitely not a walk in the park” but he would certainly do it over again. Batalvi recounted his first dose experience with Dr Gupta this way:

“The actual injection felt, at first, just like a flu shot, which is basically just a little pinch in the side of your arm. Once I left the hospital, that evening, the stiffness got a little bit worse. It was definitely manageable, but you kind of don’t really feel like moving your arm too far above your shoulder. But the side effects are pretty localized. I mean, it’s just in the muscle in your arm. And that’s about it. It doesn’t really affect anything else and you feel fine.”

His experience after the second dose little different. “I actually had some pretty significant symptoms after I got the second dose. Once I got the second dose, I was fine while I was in the hospital. But that evening was rough. I mean, I developed a low-grade fever, and fatigue and chills. He said he was out for that day and evening, but he “felt ready to go by the next morning,” told Batalvi.

What the body is telling you by that response is that it’s responding well to the injection. When you get an injection of the vaccine, you induce a response. In some people, they don’t feel anything. Others feel an ache in the arm. Some may feel an ache in the arm and kind of a little chilly feeling, almost like you have a flu-like syndrome, and in a minority of people, they get a fever.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases while talking with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (source: CNN)

Leslie Sullivan, a San Diego volunteer, who had participated in Moderna’s two dose vaccine trial shared her experience with local San Diego 10News reporter recently. “It felt like a flu shot and not much in the way of reaction after the first one. (Second time she received the shot, she felt something). By midnight I spiked a fever, I had chills, it was exactly like how the flu feels.”

Susan Froelich, a volunteer participant in Moderna Covid-19 vaccine recently recounted her illness experience with CNN.

“I woke up with a horrible stomach ache and headache, and it was like I was at the beginning stages of a bad flu. And so, I didn’t have anything to take for it at the time so I was in a lot of pain until about four hours later, when my husband woke up and I had him go get me some Naproxen. If I hadn’t Naproxen right away, I think those symptoms would’ve abated more quickly. But my muscles hurt, my joints hurt, my bones hurt, my jaw hurt. But it was for such a short time.”

Susan Froelich (from CNN)

Another Pfizer trial participant Jenny Hamilton, 57-years old from Atlanta (Georgia), recounting her experience with Business Insider said ‘she didn’t think twice about getting involved in the trial’.

“They asked me a bunch of questions and tested me for COVID-19 as part of the test. They drew blood and they gave me the first injection. At that point, I didn’t know if I was getting the placebo or vaccine, but that night, I started getting really tired. The next day I was really exhausted, and then I started having a fever. My temperature was 99, almost 100 degrees for two and a half to three days.[..] It was the same scenario (second time) — I was really tired the next day. It was a little more severe, where I didn’t even feel like getting up to fix something to eat. I just laid in bed and slept most of the day and still had a low-grade fever for two or three days as well.”

Jenny Hamilton from Atlanta (source: Business Insider)

In the BestLife News, Lauren Grev writes how Glenn Deshields, a 44-yrs-old Texas Pfizer trial volunteer, experienced after the vaccination. “Basically, I had a headache and a lot of fatigue, injection site pain … maybe three to four days. The second one, it was similar but it was much more muted. It wasn’t as strong. I think I took some Advil and they basically cleared up,” Deshields told Fox News.

“Another trial volunteer, a 45-year-old woman from Missouri identified only as Carrie, experienced similar, flu-like symptoms. She reported a fever, a headache and body aches after receiving both injections. Dissimilar to Deshields’ experience, she said her symptoms were worse after the second injection.”

According to the Dr Fauci, almost all of these symptoms goes away within 24 or at the most, 48 hours.

Allergic Reactions Reported

A day after the mass vaccination rollout in the UK, CNN Health writes that “two staff members — who both carried an adrenaline auto injector and had a history of allergic reactions — developed symptoms of anaphylactoid reaction after receiving the vaccine on Tuesday”.

“As a precautionary measure, the MHRA has issued temporary guidance to the NHS while it conducts an investigation in order to fully understand each case and its causes. Pfizer and BioNTech are supporting the MHRA in the investigation.”

Pfizer said in Statement (source: CNN)

White House vaccine chief Moncef Slaoui told CNN that the FDA would take into consideration whether people with ‘severe allergic reactions‘ should receive the vaccine or not. “The expectation will be that subjects with known severe allergic reactions should not take the vaccine, until we understand exactly what happened here.”

Coronavirus Pandemic Watch

According to the MDH latest tally (as of Dec 10, 11 a.m.) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 367,218 (out of 4,731,719 tested) with 4,198 deaths. According to Johns Hopkins database (as of Dec 10, 3:26 p.m.) there are 15,526,644 confirmed covid19 infection with 291,307 deaths. Globally the covid19 virus has infected 69,354,040 with 1,578,008 deaths.