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Common vaccine side effects vs. dangerous ones | Wear The Gown

How to tell the difference between them, and also the difference between side effects from the vaccine and the virus itself.

SAN ANTONIO — More people are receiving the coronavirus vaccine, at a time where transmission of the virus is widespread right now. In tonight's Wear The Gown we find out how to tell the difference between what may be a normal vaccine side effect, or one that needs to be taken more seriously.

And it isn't even just that. People are getting confused between what may be a side effect of the vaccine, or a symptom of the COVID-19 virus itself. 

"One of the key things for vaccine reactions as they tend to be within a short time frame, so really within 48 or 72 hours, 2 to 3 days after getting the vaccine," said Dr. Jason Bowling, a hospital epidemiologist for University Health and Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases with UT Health San Antonio. 

He says severe reactions to the vaccine that are very uncommon could include hives, or even anaphylaxis. 

"That is where you have an entire systemic reaction to the vaccine your body's immune system is responding and it can cause swelling including swelling in the throat which is a critical condition with anaphylaxis that can cut off your airway your ability to breathe," Dr. Bowling added.

Some of the more common vaccine reactions that have been reported include a headache muscle aches, chills, or a fever. 

"Maybe even a little bit of swelling that's a normal reaction to really all vaccines and particularly this vaccine which is a little bit more reactogenic with these mRNA platforms," Dr. Bowling said.

It is also important to note what may be COVID-19 and not a vaccine reaction. Symptoms more telling of COVID-19 rather than a vaccine reaction would be a dry cough, lack of smell or taste, sudden nasal congestion, and a sore throat. 

It is also recommended to report possible adverse reactions following the COVID-19 vaccination to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at vaers.hhs.gov

"In the ideal world everybody would report all of their vaccine course because then you could see people that had really no reactions at all as well as the severe reaction," Dr. Bowling said.

If you do have any vaccine side effects that don't away within 24 hours, you are strongly encouraged to talk to your healthcare provider. 

For more information about family health call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of Wear The Gown stories, just go to WearTheGown.com.

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