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Covid-19 Vaccine: Newest Updates

Most Recent Updates about the COVID-19 Vaccine

Update from the CDC

The development and use of mRNA vaccines are relatively new. These vaccines consist of messenger RNA (mRNA) encapsulated by a lipid nanoparticle (LNP) for delivery into the host cells. These vaccines utilize the body’s own cells to generate the coronavirus spike protein (the relevant antigens), which, similar to all other vaccines, stimulates immune cells to create antibodies against COVID-19. The mRNA vaccines are not live virus vaccines, nor do they use an adjuvant to enhance vaccine efficacy. These vaccines do not enter the nucleus and do not alter human DNA in vaccine recipients. As a result, mRNA vaccines cannot cause any genetic changes. 

(CDC, Zhang 2019, Schlake 2012)

Expected side effects of COVID-19 Vaccine

Most study participants experienced mild side effects similar to influenza-like illness symptoms following vaccination such as 

injection site reactions (84.1%)
fatigue (62.9%)
chills (31.9%)
muscle pain (38.3%)
joint pain (23.6%)
headaches (55.1%)

In the study subgroup of persons age 18-55 years fever greater than 38°C occurred in 3.7% after the first dose and 15.8% after the second dose (FDA 2020). Most of these symptoms resolved by day 3 after vaccination. For more information and details on side effects, see Local Reactions, Systemic Reactions, Adverse Events, and Serious Adverse Events: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine from the CDC.

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