A new study shows that 32% of people did not get an updated COVID-19 shot due to the fear of side effects. This is 1 in all 3 US citizens which hugely causes COVID-19-related hospitalization in the US right now.
As of September, new COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for use in the United States to target the omicron variant. These updated vaccines are now available at many pharmacies and clinics. However, one question that arises is whether these vaccines have the same side effects as the previous vaccines.
The Johns Hopkins Journal has reported that the possible side effects of the updated COVID-19 vaccine remain the same as those of the previous vaccines.
What should Know about the Updated COVID-19 vaccine?
As we prepare for another season, it is important to note that the only COVID-19 vaccines available are the new updated shots. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend them for everyone aged 6 months and older. These vaccines are monovalent and target the XBB.1.5 variant, unlike the previous bivalent COVID-19 vaccine that targeted both the original strain and omicron variant strains of COVID. For individuals aged 5 years and older, a single dose of the updated Pfizer or Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is recommended. Meanwhile, for those aged 12 and older, it is recommended to get two doses of the newly approved Novavax protein-based vaccine.
The terminology used by the Food and Drug Administration has been updated, with the new shot now being referred to as an “updated COVID vaccine” instead of a booster. This change reflects the evolving approach to COVID-19, which is now being treated like influenza with annual vaccination. It also highlights the fact that the vaccine is not just boosting existing immunity but building a new immune response to the current variants of the virus that are circulating.
Instant Side Effects of the New COVID Shot
The FDA has stated that individuals who get a newer mRNA COVID-19 vaccine could face comparable side effects to those experienced by people who have already received mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. The CDC has reported that the usual side effects of the vaccine could involve:
- Pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site.
- Tiredness, headache, muscle pain.
Rare but severe side effects of COVID-19 vaccines
The chance of experiencing anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction, after receiving a vaccine is around five cases per one million doses administered. However, healthcare providers are capable of providing immediate and effective treatment for this reaction. On the other hand, males in their late teens and early 20s have reported a higher incidence of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the outer lining of the heart).
How to Relieve Common Side Effects of COVID Vaccines
To manage common side effects of COVID-19 vaccines, consider the following steps:
- Consult your doctor about taking over-the-counter pain relievers after your vaccine.
- Get some rest if possible.
- Stay well-hydrated for 1-2 days after getting the vaccine.
- To alleviate pain or swelling at the injection site, apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth or ice pack over the area. Keep moving and using your arm; a cool bath can also be soothing.
- To reduce discomfort from fever, drink plenty of fluids and wear comfortable clothes.