Jan 07, 2021 4:38 PM

Degner: Vaccine reactions mild so far as some healthcare workers get second dose

Posted Jan 07, 2021 4:38 PM

By NICK GOSNELL

Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Dr. Rex Degner, Chief Medical Officer at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center notes that no matter whether it's the Pfizer or Moderna version of the COVID-19 vaccine you get, the mechanism is similar.

"They are vaccines that put a small amount of RNA, which is genetic material, into your body and then induces your cells to make the little spike proteins," Degner said. "If you've seen pictures of the coronavirus, cartoons of it, those little spikies all on the outside, these vaccines induce your body to make those little spike proteins, then you make antibodies against that, so then you're protected against the coronavirus."

Reactions to being vaccinated among healthcare workers have been relatively mild.

"There is some injection site soreness," Degner said. "That's been pretty consistent. In my left arm, if I go over and touch it, it's sore. I can tell it's there. I can still move it and do everything I want to do. That's been the most common side effect. Others have had some minor flu-like symptoms of body aches, some low-grade fevers. Most all of these have lasted less than 24 hours."

It's important to note that most of the second doses haven't been given out yet.

"These are two dose vaccines," Degner said. "With the first dose, there's only very, very minor symptoms. With the second dose, sometimes you mount a greater response to that. That's the idea. A few more people are experiencing the flu like symptoms with their second dose than their first dose."

It's also not been proven yet exactly how long the vaccine will make you immune for, because there just hasn't been enough time that passed to have a conclusion.