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COVID Vaccination: What Side Effects Can You Expect If You Take It?

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) -- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and state health officials announced the state's plan to roll out COVID-19 vaccinations as early as Dec. 14.

Deputy Health Secretary Dr. Jinlene Chan answered questions about what Marylanders should expect once they take the vaccine.  She said they only know what has been reported from the vaccination trials.

"Pfizer enrolled over 40,000 people, which is quite a large vaccination trial, and Moderna enrolled about 30,000 individuals with some significant efforts to ensure diversity and the people that were enrolled, both in terms of age, race, and ethnicity," Chan said.

She said according to the data released by FDA on Pfizer's vaccine, there have been some side effects people experienced primarily in the first one or two days after getting the shot. But it's what you might expect, including pain at the site of injection, as well as mild fever, headache, muscle aches and joint aches.


"This shows, actually, that the vaccine is working, that the body's immune system was responding to the vaccine, to be able to produce those protective antibodies that would ultimately protect that individual against getting the disease itself," Chan said.

She said independent groups are monitoring the data from the vaccine trials from both Pfizer and Moderna. Those groups did not flag any safety concerns through the course of the trials to date, Chan said.

She said early information shows mild to moderate impacts for about 10% to 15% of the people who took the vaccine.


Chan also addressed if the vaccine would be safe for children.

"Right now the vaccine trials have only enrolled adults," Chan said. "And so it is anticipated that any approval or recommendations from the CDC will only be for adults at this time."

But she said the clinical trials have already started to enroll children as young as 12. They will then enroll even younger children.

"So we anticipate that the results from future trials will provide us more insight on the efficacy and safety in children," Chan said.

According to Gov. Hogan, there will only be 155,000 doses of the vaccine with the possibility of perhaps 300,000 by year's end.

The vaccine could be available as early as Dec. 14, officials said.

Healthcare workers, first responders and long-term care residents and staff will be the first to get the vaccine in the state.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department's website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ's coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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