Coronavirus

What it feels like to get Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine

“It’s not pleasant, but it’s definitely worth the risk of developing these side effects to make sure we can find an end to this pandemic."

A 24-year-old Boston area resident is sharing his experience with participating in the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial, describing what it felt like after getting the injections. 

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Moderna has applied for emergency FDA approval for its vaccine, which the company announced was shown to be about 94.1 percent effective during the trials.

Yasir Batalvi, a recent college graduate, told CNN he signed up for the trial in July on the National Institutes of Health website, eventually getting the call to participate in September and enrolling in the trial in October. 

“I put my name down because I felt so helpless,” Batalvi told the network. “It’s public service. I have to do it, because I think mass-scale vaccination is really the only realistic way out of the pandemic that we’re in.”

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Because the trial was a double blind randomized study, Batalvi told CNN he doesn’t know for sure whether he received the vaccine or placebo shots. But based on the side effects he experienced, he said he’s confident he received the COVID-19 inoculation. 

Batalvi told the network the first of the two shots felt much like getting a flu shot, with localized stiffness in the arm where he got the injection.

But after the second dose, he said he experienced more “significant” symptoms. 

“I developed a low grade fever and fatigue and chills and all the stuff that’s associated with that,” he said. “So I was out for about a day, the good part of a day and then that evening.”

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Batalvi told the network he felt “ready to go” the next morning.

“It’s not pleasant, but it’s definitely worth the risk of developing these side effects to make sure we can find an end to this pandemic,” he said.

Health experts told CNN those side effects are not alarming and should not be confused for safety risks, rather they are an indicator that the body is responding the way it should to the vaccine. 

“It doesn’t last long and the potential of folks not getting this vaccine and actually infecting people with COVID — those effects last a lot longer and they can be life or death,” Batalvi told CNN.

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