According to Tsar Trump Covid, side effects are “significantly noticeable” in 10-15% of recipients

Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the vaccination expert, will send an update on Operation “Warp Speed” at the White House Rose Garden in Washington on November 13, 2020.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump’s coronavirus vaccine tsar said Tuesday that Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines are safe, with only 10-15% of volunteers reporting “significantly noticeable” side effects.

Side effects from vaccine shots can take up to a day and a half, said Dr. Moncef Slaoui, head of Operation Warp Speed, the Trump Administration’s Covid-19 vaccine program. People with side effects have reported redness and pain at the injection site, as well as fever, chills, muscle aches and headaches, he said, adding that most people have no noticeable side effects.

“Longer, more important types of adverse events, such as certain autoimmune diseases or otherwise, were not reported in any other way between the placebo group and the vaccine group in these two studies, which is very reassuring,” he told the Washington Post. “I always make sure we say that [while] we know that in the short term, and I will call this the medium-term effects of the vaccine, we now understand it very well, the definition of very long-term safety is not yet understood. “

Slaoui’s comments come as states prepare to distribute the Covid-19 vaccine in two weeks. The Center for Disease Prevention and Control is scheduled to vote later on Tuesday on who will be vaccinated for the first time if U.S. regulators have given it permission.

Last month, doctors told the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, an external group of experts advising the CDC, that officials need to talk more about the possible side effects of vaccines so the public knows what to expect and doesn’t deter them. get a second dose. Vaccination of both companies requires two doses approximately every month to achieve maximum efficacy.

“We really need to make patients aware that this is not going to be a walk in the park,” Dr. Sandra Fryhofer, of the American Medical Association, told the CDC Advisory Group on Nov. 23. “They’ll know it was a vaccine. They probably won’t feel wonderful. But they’ll have to come back for that second dose.”

Moderna and Pfizer have acknowledged that their vaccines can cause side effects similar to the symptoms of mild Covid-19, such as muscle pain, chills, and headaches.

Participants in the corona virus vaccine trials of Moderna and Pfizer told CNBC in September that they would experience high fever, body aches, bad headaches, overnight exhaustion, and other symptoms after receiving the recordings. While the symptoms were uncomfortable and at times intense, participants said they often leave after a day, sometimes sooner and better than getting Covid-19.

Although the long-term side effects are not yet well understood, Slaoui said it is important to introduce the vaccine as soon as possible, as the epidemic “kills 2,000 or more than 2,000 people a day.”

“These vaccines, which are 95% effective, provide a guarantee for this,” he said, adding that the vaccines have already been tested on more than 50,000 people. “It will be very important that the most sensitive parts of our population receive these vaccines. And we look at the safety of these vaccines in real life through very complex … processes and keep reporting on them.”

At last week’s counseling session, Patsy Stinchfield, a pediatric nurse in Minnesota, said officials and drugmakers could try to talk more positively about side effects. He said they could use language like “response” instead of “side effects”. “These are immune responses,” said Stinchfield, a former voting member of the committee. “So if you feel something after the vaccination, you can expect to feel it. When you do, it’s normal to have some kind of arm pain or fatigue, body aches and maybe a fever. Sounds like in some of these experiments, maybe you should even stay home. from work. “