Doctors Say Coronavirus Vaccines Come With Potential Side Effects

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — To get people vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, doctors will have to lay out what to expect.

“Fatigue, muscle aches, you can get a low-grade fever, and then some patients have experienced headaches as well. And generally, those symptoms remit after 72 hours,” says Dr. Sunjay Mannan of AHN Family Medicine. “If they know what they’re in for, usually, they’re OK with it.”

Forthcoming vaccines will require two doses several weeks apart.

Doctors and drug companies worry that if people experience these reactions after the first shot, they may not come back for their second.

“We’re getting to a point where efficacy is 70 or 90 percent or higher,” says Dr. Mannan. “The two shots is what plays into it.”

In some cases, reactions could be worse after the second dose, to the point where someone might have to call off work.

“The time off will be nothing compared to if they do get COVID,” Dr. Mannan said. “So being out for 14 days and then the implications with family members, versus one or two days, provided that they got the vaccine, I think it’s a fair price.”

Dr. Mannan wonders if vaccination rates could play a role in lifting restrictions.

“If patients are refusing vaccines, and there’s not that herd immunity we’re really looking for with this, it could be a way that our leadership says, hey, we don’t have a high enough vaccination rate, we need to quarantine for another week or two,” Dr. Mannan said.

A limited supply of vaccines could be available in December.