ALABAMA, USA — After receiving the first doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, hundreds of health care workers in the Tennessee Valley have now been vaccinated for the virus with no reports of adverse effects.
Still, there are many rumors are going around that these shots are dangerous.
Posts online claim a health care worker in Alabama died just hours after getting vaccinated for COVID-19. The Alabama Department of Public Health says these posts are false. No one in Alabama has died from the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Karen Landers with the ADPH said, "We had no reports, but we double checked all of our information and we had no verification of this whatsoever."
Like any other vaccine, side effects can happen. People who get the vaccine commonly experience some pain and swelling on the arm where the shot was given.
Other common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are fatigue, headache, chills and fever. These symptoms typically show up after the second dose, and officials say they should go away within a few days.
"This is not unexpected with a vaccine that is given to a person where their immune system is supposed to if you will recognize the vaccine and build immunity to the virus," said Dr. Landers. "It really shows to some extent that the immune system is working."
Dr. Landers says no adverse reactions of the Pfizer vaccine have been reported in Alabama so far; however, in other areas, there have been some reports of people experiencing anaphylaxis after getting the vaccine.
Dr. Landers said, "That should be a precaution, and currently the recommendations are persons who have that type of history of true anaphylaxis previously to be monitored for thirty minutes after administering the vaccine."
State health leaders say allergic reactions are possible with any vaccine but are extremely rare.
As people get vaccinated, the CDC and FDA are using the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) to collect reports from healthcare professionals, vaccine manufacturers, and the public of adverse events that happen after vaccination.
Health officials say to do your own research before being vaccinated.
According to the CDC, people who are pregnant or lactating should not get the vaccine. If you have COVID-19, you should wait until you're symptom-free before getting the shot.
Right now, there is a limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccine. Officials believe the supply will increase in the weeks and months to come. Once a vaccine is widely available, officials say doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and health centers will administer the vaccine.
The ADPH says we are still in Phase 1-A of the vaccination process. Phase 1 includes vaccinating people at the highest risk and highest risk of exposure, like first responders and healthcare workers who care for those with critical needs.
Phase 2 will begin when large numbers of doses are available. For more information about ADPH's vaccination plan, click here.
If you think that you are at a high risk and want the vaccine, health leaders in North Alabama suggest going ahead and telling your primary care physician you want the vaccine.
There is no set date when vaccines will be available for people at a high risk.
To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, click here.
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