'It is working': Healthcare workers urge vaccination despite potential side effects

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Healthcare workers who have been on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic for the last year are warning that side effects from the vaccines are possible, but the temporary mild symptoms should not prevent anyone from getting vaccinated when it's their turn.

According to the CDC, common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine include pain and swelling on your arm where you get the shot. And for the rest of your body-fever, chills, headache, and fatigue.

Dr. Christopher Kelly, cardiologist at UNC Rex in Raleigh, said he experienced some of these mild symptoms after getting his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

However, he and others say it is worth the protection the vaccines offer.

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"That is normal," Kelly said of the mild side effects experienced post-vaccination. "That is your immune system responding to the vaccine. That is a sign that it is working and it is a good thing. In almost all cases the symptoms are very mild. It should not interfere with your life in any way. If it bothers you, you can take some Tylenol and it most cases that should take care of it. But I would certainly not allow this to deter anyone from getting this critical vaccination which I hope will allow our lives to finally go back to normal in the months ahead."

Jessica Dixon, an infection prevention specialist with WakeMed, said her symptoms were mild after each dose of the Pfizer vaccine, but her husband, an MRI technician at UNC Rex, fared much worse after his second dose.

"Even if it's two days or three days of feeling bad, that is so much better than what happens if you get COVID and get severely ill," she said. "Even as much as he felt miserable for a day and half, it was worth the price of admission to him."
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