What if I have side effects from the COVID vaccine? Is it safe to receive if I have a preexisting condition?

Answering your questions about the COVID vaccine

Answering COVID-19 vaccine questions: What if I have side effects to the vaccine? Is it safe to get the vaccine if I have a preexisting condition?
Answering COVID-19 vaccine questions: What if I have side effects to the vaccine? Is it safe to get the vaccine if I have a preexisting condition?

DETROIT – As COVID-19 vaccines roll out across the U.S., several people still have a lot of questions about it.

Below, Local 4′s Dr. Frank McGeorge answers some the most common virus and vaccine-related questions we’ve recently received:

“If I experience side effects from the first vaccine dose, should I receive the second?”

One viewer said they had side effects that made them question if they should get the second dose. Unless it was a medically-concerning side effect, like anaphylaxis, the side effects are only temporary and when compared to the risk of COVID-19, you should still receive the second dose.

“Is it safe to get the vaccine if I...?”

Viewers are concerned if it would be unsafe to get the vaccine if they have epilepsy, atrial fibrillation, multiple sclerosis or another conditions.

Based on the trials that have been done, there is no specific disease or illness that makes the vaccine unsafe or would be a contraindication to receive it. While that is a very broad statement and everyone should discuss their specific situation with their doctor, you should keep an eye on developments as the vaccine is more widely administered.

“If the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are both MRNA vaccines, why does one need to be stored at -94 degrees Fahrenheit and the other one only at -4 degrees Fahrenheit?”

The temperature differences are requirements from the manufacturers and are related to proprietary information they have on what the most stable temperature is for their vaccine. Although both are MRNA vaccines, there are differences in the genetic sequences used and the coating used to get the MRNA into our cells.

READ: Answering questions about COVID-19 vaccine efforts in Michigan

“Is the monoclonal antibody cocktail the president received available to patients?”

With the exception of one medication, President Donald Trump received the same care and treatments as all other COVID-19 patients.

The monoclonal antibody treatments are now available for non-hospitalized patients diagnosed with COVID. Both state and federal agencies that track their use have commented that there hasn’t been widespread adoption of those treatments -- specifically Bamlanivimab from Eli Lilly and the combination product from Regeneron. Some facilities are using them consistently, but the overall demand for the treatment hasn’t been what some had thought it would be.

Questions about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge


About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.