Some of the participants in the final stage of clinical trials for the coronavirus vaccine are reporting intense side effects after receiving the injection. Three participants in Moderna's trial and two who are taking part in Pfizer's trial detailed the side effects to CNBC.
Luke Hutchison, the only participant who spoke on the record, said he signed up for Moderna's trial because he was intrigued by the pharmaceutical company's RNA-based vaccine.
"I had a high degree of confidence it would work, and I wanted to contribute to the solution," Hutchison said.
He received the first injection on August 18 and said it made him feel under the weather for a few days with a low-grade fever. On September 15, he went back to receive the second shot, which was painful and felt like a "goose egg on my shoulder." Within eight hours, he developed a high fever, shakes, chills, a pounding headache, and shortness of breath. He said he was unable to sleep that night, but within 12 hours, the symptoms had subsided, and he felt much better.
A North Carolina woman involved in Moderna's clinical trial didn't develop a fever but did deal with a severe migraine and lack of energy for about a day.
"If this proves to work, people are going to have to toughen up," she said. "The first dose is no big deal. And then the second dose will definitely put you down for the day for sure... You will need to take a day off after the second dose."
Another participant, a man in his 20s, had a similar experience after receiving the second dose. His fever topped out at 104 degrees, and he considered going to the hospital.
"I wasn't sure if I needed to go to the hospital or not because 104 is pretty high," he said. "But other than that, it's been fine."
One of the participants in Pfizer's trial said he felt he had the flu after receiving the second shot. He had to use an electric blanket to fall asleep and shook so hard that he chipped his tooth. He ended up going to the doctor but has since recovered.
Despite the intense side effects, he believes everybody should get inoculated once the vaccine is approved.
"If it gets approved, I still think a lot of people should get the vaccine," he said, "and I hope that all the side effects are made clear up front."
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