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People who got the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine report more side effects than others

A new study suggests Moderna patients might be feeling more reactions to the vaccine

A health care worker fills a syringe with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Utah Islamic Center in West Jordan on Thursday, March 18, 2021.
A health care worker fills a syringe with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Utah Islamic Center in West Jordan on Thursday, March 18, 2021.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

People who get the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine reported feeling more side effects than any other vaccine patients, according to a new study.

Details of new vaccine study

The new study — published in the medical journal JAMA — used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention program “v-safe.” The program uses text messages to track side effects to the COVID-19 vaccine, The Verge reports.

  • People in the program text their side effects to the CDC once every day. They noted side effects such as fatigue, arm pain, fevers, headaches and more — all symptoms of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to The Verge.

The numbers of the vaccine study

  • In total, 3.6 million people participated in the study.
  • About 67% of the participants said they had pain and/or swelling at the injection location.
  • About 55% said they had fatigue (30.9%) or chills (31.3%).

Moderna has more reactions

According to the study, Moderna patients had more reactions. About 73% of Moderna patients had pain at the injection site compared to 65% of Pfizer patients. And 51% of Moderna patients said they had chills, fatigue and body side effects, where as 48% of Pfizer patients said the same.

  • That’s a really small difference, but it is a difference.

‘Moderna arm’

Moderna has actually made headlines for its vaccine for months, specifically because of the “Moderna arm” or “COVID arm” symptom where the injection site begins to swell, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

Dr. George Morris told CBS Minnesota that the Moderna arm side effect isn’t a worry since it’s common among other vaccines.

  • “We’ve seen reactions like this even with other vaccines,” he said. “We know, when you get a flu vaccine, many people will have a local reaction in their arm. Tetanus vaccines. Shingles vaccines.”