As you probably know by now, there are four brands of vaccines approved for distribution in the United States to fight COVID-19 disease, which are Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca. Moderna coronavirus vaccine specifically, is authorized for people 18 years of age and older, and it is one of the most efficient vaccines against COVID-19.
What is the Moderna coronavirus vaccine?
Moderna, just as Pfizer’s, is an mRNA vaccine authorized to use in 53 countries. These types of vaccines work by providing the body with certain genetic information for it to produce proteins; in this case, the body produces a protein found on the virus SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes the disease), and as a result, it starts an immune response to protect you. During the immune response, the body starts producing certain antibodies to fight a possible infection.
The vaccine works by an injection in the muscle, and it requires two doses that must be a month apart. Keep in mind that you are considered fully vaccinated after the second dose, and that both doses must be of the same brand, they are not exchangeable.
Can I get the virus from the vaccine?
No. The vaccine only carries the information needed to trigger an immune response from the body, it does not contain the virus and it cannot cause COVID-19, there is no need to worry.
Based on evidence of all the clinical trials and the results of tests it underwent, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the Moderna vaccine to have proven to be 94.1% effective at preventing a COVID-19 infection. These results are in people who received both doses and had no evidence of being previously infected.
The vaccine was tried in people of different ages, races, sex, ethnicities, and in people with underlying medical conditions.
Keep in mind that none of the existing vaccines are 100% effective, but still a 94.1% is a high percentage of protection efficiency, hence, doctors and the World Health Organization still recommend getting vaccinated as soon as possible.
Side effects of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine
The side effects are similar in all of the vaccines that are being distributed, in the specific case of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine, the following side effects are the most commonly reported:
- Fatigue (in a 70% of the cases according to Medical News Today)
- Headaches (in a 64.7% of the cases according to Medical News Today)
- Muscle and joint pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever (in less than 16% of the cases)
- Additionally, there might be pain, swelling, and redness in the area where the vaccine was administered)
- In people with dermal fillers, there has been a swelling reaction around the fillers (for example, around the lips)
- There are rare side effects such as myocarditis and pericarditis in a minor percentage of the vaccine recipients.
The side effects have been more noticeable after the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine (the reports after the first dose are much less and side effects were much lighter); it is likely that they show even 6 or 7 days after the vaccine.
Remember that side effects should not be severe, and they should only last for a couple of days; if they last longer than three days or you have severe symptoms such as high fever, chest pain, or difficulty breathing, you should contact a healthcare provider right away.
What can I do to ease the side effects?
To ease the pain and swelling of the area where the vaccine was administered, you can apply a cold, clean washcloth, and do some exercises with your arm.
To fight the fever, headaches, and body aches you can take a warm bath to regulate your temperature and wear light clothes. If the pain is too much, you can talk to your provider about taking over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin.
Healthcare providers around the world are recommending getting vaccinated despite the side effects since the benefits of the vaccine overrule its risk of side effects.
Remember that at Formé Medical Center, we can answer all your questions regarding COVID-19 and the vaccines, and that we are constantly having immunization campaigns. You can give us a call at 914 723 4900.