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How will we know if the COVID-19 vaccine works? If you feel sick after you take it

Dr. Melanie Swift, an occupational medicine physician, said side effects to the COVID-19 vaccine means the vaccine is working.

Nursing staff administer flu vaccines to high risk group patients, outdoors to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, in Trelleborg, southern Sweden, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020.
Nursing staff administer flu vaccines to high risk group patients, outdoors to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, in Trelleborg, southern Sweden, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020.
Associated Press

Dr. Melanie Swift, an occupational medicine physician who leads the COVID-19 vaccination plan at the Mayo Clinic, said in a recent interview with USA Today. that COVID-19 vaccine side effects are a sign the vaccine works.

  • “Just because you’re sore doesn’t mean that (the vaccine) didn’t work or wasn’t effective. It just means that your body responded the way it’s supposed to,” she said. “It’s important to take both doses or that first dose was all for nothing.”

Some extra details

  • Side effects are common when it comes to any vaccine.
  • Adverse effects — which have a major impact on people — are not as normal and can change the release time of a vaccine.
  • Side effects impacted 10% to 15% of flu vaccine patients. Adverse effects impact 0.1% of patients, according to USA Today.

Not an easy vaccine

Dr. Sandra Fryhofer of the American Medical Association said people should educate themselves about the effects of vaccines. She’s worried people will feel side effects from the first dose of the two-dose vaccines and not want to come back for a second, as I wrote about for the Deseret News.

  • “We really need to make patients aware that this is not going to be a walk in the park,” Fryhofer said, according to CNBC. “They are going to know they had a vaccine. They are probably not going to feel wonderful. But they’ve got to come back for that second dose.”