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Doctors: Vaccine side effects nothing new, nothing to worry about

Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 5:59 PM EST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - While few Kentuckians have officially received the vaccine, some are hesitant and fear its side effects.

“I understand that it’s scary to get something new. And I wasn’t at first excited to be a guinea pig. But I also think about what it means the technology is actually not new, " said Dr. Valerie Briones-Pryor, one of the first health care workers vaccinated at UofL.

That technology is the reason for the quick turnaround of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I mean, over 200 years, we’ve had vaccines, the safety profile of the great majority of vaccines is excellent,” said Dr. Randy Hansbrough, Pulmonary Specialist at Graves Gilbert.

Similar to the flu vaccine, the COVID one is expected to give a person mild side effects of fever, headache and soreness.

“I mean, there are side effects-- they’re rare. Most of the time, they’re very mild, other than just a little bit of a mild illness after you’ve had the vaccine,” said Dr. Hansbrough.

A common misconception is that the vaccine injects you with a live virus- when in fact, it doesn’t.

“They’re incapable of giving you a virus or an infection or your anything. They’re just little snippets of genetic material that is encoded and helps stimulate your body’s immune system against that particular section of the virus,” said Dr. Hansbrough.

Doctors say the shot will commonly inject a person with material that has protein in it. However, you can’t get the virus from getting the vaccine.

“Your body’s immune system will react to and fight off. That protein is usually a part of the infection, the virus or the bacteria,” said Dr. Hansbrough.

With over 300 thousand lives lost, doctors are saying this vaccine could be our only shot to getting back to normal.

“If we don’t get at least two-thirds of the population immune to Coronavirus, COVID-19, we can’t stop it,” said Dr. Hansbrough.

Masks and social distancing will still be critical in fighting the virus until a mass number of the population is able to get the vaccine.

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