COVID-19 vaccine trial participant describes side effects

COVID-19 vaccine trial participant describes side effects
Posted at 11:00 PM, Dec 02, 2020

In the coming weeks and months, several coronavirus vaccines will begin making their way to our cities in a hope to curtail the spread of a virus that has put a halt on our everyday lives and filled the nation's hospital rooms.

Yasir Batalvi, 24, signed up for one of these trials and was among the first Americans to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The Boston-area resident was among those who participated in Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine trial.

Moderna’s vaccine has been hailed as a medical breakthrough. The vaccine has been considered 94.1% effective against the virus. According to Moderna, none of the thousands who were given two shots of the vaccine had severe COVID-19 symptoms. That is compared to 30 patients who were given a placebo who had symptoms.

While the vaccine could nearly eliminate the number of hospitalizations and deaths associated with the virus, the shot might result in some symptoms.

"I actually had some pretty significant symptoms after I got the second dose. Once I got the second dose, I was fine while I was in the hospital. But that evening was rough. I mean, I developed a low-grade fever, and fatigue and chills," Batalvi told CNN.

But by the next day, Batalvi said he felt “ready to go.”

In an interview with CNN last week, Operation Warp Speed chief scientific adviser Moncef Slaoui said that 10 to 15% of those immunized had noticeable side effects.

“Most people will have much less noticeable side effects. That frankly -- in comparison to a 95% protection against an infection that can be deadly or significantly debilitating -- I think is an appropriate balance," he told CNN.

Batalvi was entered in a double blind trial, meaning he doesn’t know if he was given a placebo or the actual vaccine.

"I hope once this vaccine comes out, people feel confident taking it. I mean, I'm right here: I took the vaccine -- it was all right. I think we can get through this," he told CNN.

In order to obtain an emergency use authorization, the FDA will weigh the vaccine’s benefits against possible side effects.