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Weeks after vaccine roll-out, severe reactions are rare

Mild side effects in most patients
COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 6:21 PM, Jan 04, 2021

CLEVELAND — So far, 4.6 million Americans have rolled up their sleeves for a shot in the arm to protect themselves against COVID-19.

Cleveland Clinic Infectious Disease Dr. Kristin Englund is one of them. “I’ve had other vaccines that hurt more,” said Englund.

Like the majority of patients, she said, her side effects were mild: soreness near the injection site, muscle aches and chills for a brief time.

“The vaccine, to get a sore arm, to get muscle aches for a day or two is nothing compared to the disease itself,” she explained.

Two vaccines were rolled out last month, one by Pfizer, the other by Moderna. Both have been deemed safe by medical experts across the country.

"The number of people throughout the world who have had a severe reaction to the vaccine is tiny,” said Englund.

Millions of doses of the vaccines have been given around the globe and Englund said only two patients in the UK (United Kingdom) and two in Alaska had a more severe, allergic reaction.

“Millions of doses have been given to people who have not had any reactions, “Englund said.

Englund expects to get the second dose of the vaccine this week. “This is not over; this is nowhere near over. At this point in time, the only way it is going to be over is if we all get vaccinated against it,” she said.

There are protocols in place that require a patient to wait 15 minutes after getting the vaccine to ensure if they have an allergic reaction, they can be treated immediately.

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