The One Vaccine Side Effect Dr. Fauci Is Worried About
The top infectious disease expert received his shot—and he expects to experience this common side effect.
Now that two effective coronavirus vaccines are being distributed across the U.S., some high-profile patients have gotten vaccinated on camera. This includes Anthony Fauci, MD, who received his first dose on live television on Dec. 22 to help instill confidence in the public to get inoculated themselves. But even the nation's top infectious disease expert admitted there was one side effect he expected to feel after getting the vaccine: soreness in his arm. Read on to see what he's experiencing, and for more on who is exempt from getting their second dose, check out These Are the Only People Who Shouldn't Get 2 Doses of the COVID Vaccine.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director had nothing but good news to report not long after receiving his first dose. "Actually, I feel really fine. I feel very good. I feel perfectly normal," Fauci told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. But he also said that expects to experience an "ache in the arm" at the injection site.
"That's very common in any kind of vaccination so I'm anticipating that, but in general I feel fine," he said.
Many vaccines result in pain, swelling, and tenderness in the arm where you got the shot, including the COVID vaccine. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests applying "a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area" and continuing to use your arm, as usual, to help reduce any pain. Even though a little discomfort is normal, the CDC says you should contact your healthcare provider if the redness or tenderness in the spot you got the shot gets worse after 24 hours. The CDC also suggests consulting your doctor about taking over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen if you are experiencing significant pain.
While talking to CNN, Fauci also took the opportunity to assure the public that there was no safety risk in getting the shot—and that it in fact would help move everything forward. "I feel very confident about what we're doing and that's the reason why I strongly recommend to everybody and everyone that when the vaccine becomes available to them to get vaccinated," he told Blitzer.
"That is how we're going to put this pandemic behind us," he concluded.
But just as Fauci is anticipating some pain in his upper arm, there are some side effects of the COVID vaccine that the CDC wants you to prepare for. Read on to see what they are, and for more on how you can stay safe, check out If You're Not Doing This, Your Mask Won't Protect You, Study Says.
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Feeling more fatigued than usual after receiving the COVID vaccine is normal, the CDC points out. According to Science magazine, 3.8 percent of participants in the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine trial experienced fatigue. And for another way to tell if your exhaustion is connected to the virus, check out This Is How to Tell If Your Fatigue Could Be COVID, Doctors Say.
Spiking a slight fever is also reported to be a potential side effect of the COVID vaccine. The CDC suggests drinking plenty of fluids and dressing in light clothing to help bring your temperature down and stay comfortable. If your fever or any other side effects don't seem to be going away after a few days, then you should call your healthcare provider. And for more on how seriously the pandemic is affecting your area, check out This Is How Bad the COVID Outbreak Is in Your State.
Not only can the vaccine make you run a fever, but it could also give you body chills. Fortunately, the CDC says that this side effect, while uncomfortable, is nothing to be concerned about unless it lasts for more than a few days. And if you want regular COVID updates delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
The CDC says that developing a headache is another common side effect of the COVID vaccine. In fact, Science magazine says 2 percent of people who participated in the Pfizer-BioNTech trial had a headache after getting their shot, while 4.5 percent of participants in the Moderna trial experienced the same side effect. And for more on the latest from the nation's top infectious disease expert, check out Dr. Fauci Advises Against This One COVID Safety Measure.