The participants taking part in phase 3 clinical trials for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine candidates are reporting troublesome side effects such as fever, headaches, and exhaustion after receiving the drugs. While the symptoms were at times intense, the study subjects said they went away after a day.
According to CNBC, phase 3 clinical trials are the critical last step in determining the safety of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, and the study participants said the discomfort was worth the price of protection against the virus. One trial participant testing Pfizer’s drug woke up shaking so hard he cracked a tooth, according to CNBC.
Moderna and Pfizer both acknowledged in a preprint study that their vaccine could cause symptoms similar to COVID-19. The potential side effects include muscle aches, chills, and headaches, according to CNBC. Several drug companies have adjusted their higher doses in response to severe reactions to the drugs from study participants.
Experts have warned that trying to accelerate the scientific process of creating a COVID-19 vaccine can present risks. A participant in AstraZeneca’s vaccine trial developed neurological symptoms, temporarily stopping the trial, according to The New York Times.
But study participants in the latest clinical trials have been stoic in the face of their vaccine-caused ailments. One North Carolina woman in the Moderna study suffered a severe migraine that stopped her in her tracks after her second dose. Members of a private Facebook group shared similar stories, including soreness at the injection site. “You’re not going to be lifting weights or working out,” after receiving the vaccine, said the woman, adding that if the vaccine is proven to be effective, people are going to have to “toughen up.”
Some experts told CBNC that pharmaceutical companies have downplayed the potential side effects of their vaccine candidates because they do not want a backlash. Already polls show that 35% of Americans say they will not get the coronavirus vaccine, according to Kaiser Health News.
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