MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Doctors address the effects linked to COVID-19 vaccines and what it means for those who don’t experience anything.
Mild to moderate side effects are expected and normal after receiving the vaccine.
Dr. Richardson said he’s seeing some people have headaches, chills, low-grade temperatures, and muscle pains.
All are common vaccine side effects communicating your body is building immunity.
“What we are doing with the vaccine is we are exposing ourselves to the spiked protein. Therefore our bodies will see that as something that says, that’s not me, which is going to make it an antibody to it, a perfectly normal reaction to anything it comes in contact with,” Conway Medical Center’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Paul Richardson, said.
According to doctors, side effects are most commonly reported as short-lived and mild and a sign the vaccine is working.
Dr. Richardson says the effects he sees usually are six to eight hours, occasionally up to 24 hours.
On the other hand, medical experts report a significant number who don’t experience side effects.
A lack of side effects doesn’t mean your shot isn’t working, according to Dr. Richardson.
“It seems like in older patient populations they have lesser effects and that just may be the immune system as they grow a little older, but there’s no data that shows ‘you had effects and I didn’t so you’re more protected than me,’ that does not appear to be true,” Dr. Richardson said.
It’s up to each person as to how their body processes the immune response.
Side effects or not, the CDC advises anyone fully vaccinated still to follow COVID-19 protocols like masking and social distancing.
As the vaccine begins to become more widely distributed, another topic being discussed is breakthrough infections, referring to vaccinated people with both doses and still end up getting infected.
“Some folks may not have developed significant enough immunity at the 14-day mark. The other thing I would think about too when I hear cases like that is those folks likely were infected prior or right around that dose, so it didn’t have time to get going,” Dr. Richardson said.
The vaccine is reported to be 65% to 95% effective, according to Dr. Richardson,
Even if someone gets sick after vaccination, he said it would likely reduce the severity of symptoms and the chance of going to the hospital.