The Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out and set to be administered as 2020 comes to a close and 2021 begins. After months of waiting, this is finally some cheerful news, especially for seniors because of their vulnerability. But the question is, what should senior citizens in Florida expect?
Seniors are among the first set of Americans that may be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Those above 65 years old are given priority of receiving the vaccines. This is in accordance with CDC recommendations, which suggest that people with greater risk of contracting the virus should be given preference in terms of receiving the vaccination.
Some uncertainties have forced people to question the ramifications of the vaccine, including seniors in Florida. Concerns include the side effects it may have on older citizens as well as how often such side effects may occur. Many also wonder if a vaccine will prove effective for those seniors diagnosed with multiple chronic diseases, particularly respiratory ones. There is also the issue of mistrust among seniors in the efficacy of the vaccine, as some suggest that they would prefer others to be vaccinated first.
Common Side Effects of the COVID-19 Vaccines
Prior to receiving emergency approval earlier in December, participants had enrolled for the third phase of clinical trials in the collection of COVID-19 safety data for the Pfizer vaccine. Some of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine side effects that have so far been recorded include:
- Pain at Injection Site
- Muscle Pain
As mentioned above, the FDA gave the go-ahead for the COVID-19 vaccine to be officially administered to Americans earlier this month after reviewing safety data sheets that compare the vaccine’s efficacy to its side effects.
According to data, the COVID-19 vaccine offers a 92% success rate of prevention against the virus, and clinical research shows that the vaccine has an outstanding safety profile. Such a conclusion is drawn from the high number of people who have so far been vaccinated and are closely monitored. Seniors in Florida should expect to be given the COVID-19 vaccine in two doses, which will be administered three weeks apart.
Among the participants who have so far been vaccinated, the issue of pain or reaction around the injection site was most common. Some people may experience skin redness, firmness, warmth, or mild swelling around the area of injection. About 84% of participants have reported this effect, but it is usually very mild in most people.
On the other hand, 63% of participants have reported fatigue, while 38% reported muscle pain and 55% experienced signs of a headache. In most of the reported cases, the symptoms have been mild, and resolved themselves after 24 hours.
Managing the Side Effects
According to health experts, one way to manage any COVID-19 vaccine aftermath is to schedule your vaccination at a time that is most appropriate in managing the potential side effects like headache and fatigue. Most of these may be treated with over-the-counter medications that help relieve headaches, fever, fatigue, or joint/muscle pain.
A dose of Tylenol or a couple of Advil can help relieve swelling and discomfort. You should report to your doctor if you have side effects that bother you for longer than a day or provide extreme discomfort.
Comparing Risks and Benefits of the COVID-19 Vaccines
It is important for seniors in Florida to understand that these side effects are common. If, after receiving the first dose, you experience mild or moderate side effects, that should not warrant you to skip the next dose. You can discuss with your doctor if you have any questions or worries.
As 2021 dawns and 2020 comes to a close, it is important for Florida seniors to consider what we are in the final stages of facing together as both Americans and humans. A vaccine presents the most promising opportunity yet to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Muscle pain, injection discomfort, fatigue, headache and some other side effects cannot be compared to the loss of life that will persist if COVID-19 is not countered soon.
The pandemic will pass, but regardless of when that happens, Jewish Family Home Care, provider of elderly care in Plantation and the surrounding areas, will be here to assist seniors in south Florida with a compassionate, friendly, trustworthy, reliable, and quality home care service.