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CDC Warns That COVID-19 Vaccine Might Spur Transient Sickness

Some volunteers in trials of candidate vaccines have reported flu-like symptoms after immunization

TUESDAY, Nov. 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) — At least three new COVID-19 vaccine candidates are already in the pipeline, with a roll-out expected early in the new year. But on Monday, experts attending a meeting of an advisory committee to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stressed that Americans who receive the vaccine should not be surprised if they feel under the weather for a few days afterward.

“These are immune responses, so if you feel something after vaccination, you should expect to feel that. And when you do, it’s normal that you have some arm soreness or some fatigue or some body aches or even some fever,” Patricia Stinchfield, R.N., of Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, told the meeting of the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, CNN reported. She represents the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and said providers must be ready to explain this to people who line up to get any COVID-19 vaccine.

Already, some volunteers in trials of candidate vaccines from drug companies Moderna, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca have reported flu-like symptoms after immunization. And experts worry that those reports might keep people away from vaccination or from required second doses.

Sara Oliver, M.D., of the CDC, told the committee during the five-hour-long meeting that, depending on the survey, anywhere between 40 and 80 percent of Americans say they would be willing to get vaccinated, CNN reported.

Paul Hunter, M.D., of the city of Milwaukee health department and a voting member of the committee, said the testimonials of the first batches of people who get a COVID-19 vaccine could be crucial to wider acceptance. “The people who highly value getting the vaccine soon and fast, early, are going to be really helpful to everyone else. And I think we really are going to need to honor them, because they are going to let us know how it feels,” he told the committee. “And I think these people are likely to be health care workers who are likely to be up for that kind of task.”

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