Coronavirus

What are the possible side effects of the covid-19 vaccines?

As the distribution of multiple coronavirus vaccines draws near, attention has now turned to the practicalities of issuing it, including side effects.

What side effects could the Covid-19 vaccines have?
DADO RUVIC REUTERS

All across the world, the race is now on in medical centres and hospitals to be fully equipped to distribute a life saving covid-19 vaccine as early as next month.

Companies Pfizer and Moderna have both reported over 90% efficacy in their vaccines, and this week Oxford University and AstraZeneca reported a similar effectiveness rate in the vaccine under development in the UK.

All the frontrunners a liklely to use a vaccine model where patients would receive two shots, some weeks apart. In a meeting Monday, doctors urged CDC advisors, drugmakers and public health officials to warn the public that coronavirus vaccine shots will have side effects so they know what to expect and aren’t scared away from getting the second dose, CNBC reported.

Possible side effects of the covid-19 vaccines

As with all life saving vaccines, there are going to be some rough side effects in most recipients. The body will effectively be mounting an immune response to an unpredictable and often severe disease and so some discomfort should be expected in order for the virus to work properly.

Both Pfizer and Moderna have acknowledged that vaccines could induce side effects that are similar to symptoms associated with mild covid-19 or common flu, such as muscle pain, chills and headache. Furthermore, patients in trials for both vaccines disclosed to CNBC that they experienced high fever, body aches, headaches, daylong exhaustion and other symptoms after receiving the shots.

While the symptoms were uncomfortable and at times intense, the participants said they often went away after a day or less, and that it was certainly better than contracting covid-19.

When could vaccines be ready to distribute?

Pfizer and BioNTech have a $1.95 billion contract with the US government to deliver 100 million vaccine doses beginning this year. They have also reached supply agreements with the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan.

Moderna has a $1.525 billion contract to provide the United States with 100 million doses of the vaccine through Operation Warp Speed, the government’s fast-track program for covid-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.

Moderna is expected to seek emergency-use authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration if further review demonstrates its vaccine is safe. The company said it could seek clearance from regulators in the coming weeks. Pfizer submitted its application to the FDA for emergency use authorisation last week.