The Journal Gazette
Thursday, January 21, 2021 1:00 am

Side effects to vaccines common

Soreness, fatigue after second dose is body's response


A Parkview Health physician Wednesday said the growing number of those receiving COVID-19 vaccinations shouldn't be alarmed if they feel more sore or tired after getting their second doses.

Dr. Jeffrey Boord, Parkview's chief quality and safety officer, said it happened to him during a question-and-answer session on the vaccine with members of the media.

The shots' side effects – soreness, tenderness and redness at the injection site and body aches, headaches, fatigue and sometimes fever – typically are nothing to worry about and go away in 24 to 72 hours, he said.

They're just your body responding “robustly” to an invader it recognizes from the first dose, Boord said.

“It's actually expected,” Boord said of the side effects. The symptoms “can be unpleasant,” he added, “but they are the response of your own immunity. ... When you get the second dose, your body is more responsive.”

Boord said that if someone feels unwell after being vaccinated, he or she is encouraged to contact medical help and sign up for a vaccine reporting system for adverse effects.

People who get the shots and have a severe allergic reaction usually have had a similar reaction to another vaccine, Boord said. All those who get vaccinated are watched for 10 to 15 minutes afterward and those with allergies are observed for a half-hour, he said.

Boord said the Parkview vaccination clinics have not had any severe reactions that he knows of. But they were staffed with emergency workers to be prepared, he noted. The incidence of severe reactions are believed to be one in 90,000 doses, he said.

Boord also said the vaccine appears to be effective against a virus variant originally found in Great Britain and recently detected in Indiana.

The virus variant is thought not to cause more serious disease but be more easily spread. The state has a selective surveillance system that can detect the variant, but little is known about the prevalence, Boord said.

At Parkview, more than 19,600 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine have been given – 13,895 first doses and 5,741 second doses. A thousand appointments were scheduled for Wednesday, said Tami Brigle, Parkview spokeswoman.

Boord said it was too early to say if the vaccinations are cutting down the number of cases or hospitalizations. “But we expect that it will, especially in our older Hoosiers,” he said.

The Indiana State Department of Health on Wednesday reported 338,594 first doses of vaccine have been given, with 79,878 people fully vaccinated.

In Allen County, 18,351 people were reported to have gotten their first dose and 5,850 are reported fully vaccinated.

The county reported 170 additional COVID-19 cases Wednesday and seven more deaths, bringing the total cases to 32,379 and the total deaths to 547.

The state reported 2,942 additional Hoosiers diagnosed with COVID-19, bringing the total to 598,313.

A total of 9,154 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of 62 from the previous day. An additional 375 probable deaths have been reported based on symptoms but without a positive test result.

Area cases

Adams: 3

Allen: 170 (7 deaths)

DeKalb: 25

Huntington: 26

Kosciusko: 53 (2)

LaGrange: 10

Noble: 30

Steuben: 4 (1)

Wabash: 28

Wells: 10

Whitley: 26

Sources: Indiana Department of Health, Allen County Department of Health, DeKalb County Health Department

Also Allen County returns to orange Allen County returned to orange status Wednesday in the state's color-coded system for assessing the severity of the the coronavirus pandemic. Orange is the second-most serious category based on the degree of the virus' spread. The colors are based on the weekly cases per 100,000 residents and the county's positivity rate, the percentage of those tested for the virus who test positive. Five other counties in northeast Indiana also have returned to orange - DeKalb, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble and Wells. Steuben and Whitley counties remain in red, and Adams, Huntington and Wabash counties remain in orange. Last week 77 Indiana counties - about 80% - were in red. This week, 34 counties remained in red. The map is a lagging indicator of the epidemic, covering conditions from the seven days preceding Sunday.

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