CHI Docs talk about COVID vaccine trial experiences

Say benefits far outweigh any potential risks
Posted at 12:32 PM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 19:39:07-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Thursday, CHI Health-Creighton infectious disease experts, Dr. David Quimby and Dr. Renuga Vivekanandan answered questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Both spoke about their personal experiences from participating in trials of the Moderna vaccine and urged people to get informed and consider taking it to crush the spread.

While a small number of people may be infected with COVID-19 when taking the vaccine or experience reactions, Quimby and Vivekanandan said symptoms are less severe and people will be monitored following its administration. Both Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines have a success rate of about 95%. For those who might have reactions, CHI Health plans to monitor patients receiving the vaccine for up to 30 minutes and will screen people based on past reactions to vaccines Dr. Vivekanandan said.

In regards to their own experiences, Quimby said his reaction to the vaccine included some fatigue and pain but no more than when he’s received the flu vaccine in the past.

When taking the second dose, he said he went to work that day and started to feel fatigued in the evening and slept poorly. In the morning, Quimby woke up feeling “very-flu like” with aches, fever and pain all-over but the symptoms passed by 8 p.m. that night — a small sacrifice considering the benefits he said.

For Dr. Vivekanandan, she had some fatigue after taking the first shot and had some flu-like symptoms following the second one. Those symptoms included fever, fatigue and pain at the injection site but lasted for less than 24 hours.

Even if you are inoculated, you should still mask up as you have the chance to get reinfected. It should be less severe than what you might experience if you hadn’t taken the vaccine though they said. This is thanks to antibodies that you should already have in your system that will aid in fighting off the virus. For those who already had COVID-19, they said people should still get vaccinated as it should help in the same way.

Vivekanandan and Quimby said they are excited about the vaccines and hope the majority of people will take the time to learn about the vaccine and seriously consider getting it.

Even when the vaccine becomes available, Quimby and Vivekanandan said they expect masking, social distancing and other spread mitigation efforts to continue into late 2021.

You can watch the FDA's meeting where members are considering an emergency approval of Pfizer's vaccine below:

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