Lowcountry doctors react to concerns over potential COVID-19 vaccine side-effects

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Concerns over COVID-19 vaccination side-effects are growing on social media. Lowcountry doctors say they haven’t experienced any major side-effects to the vaccine so far in South Carolina.

Doctors say experiencing some form of reaction after receiving a vaccination like the COVID-19 vaccine is normal and to be expected. Concerns began growing after three healthcare workers in Alaska experienced allergic reactions to the vaccine in three consecutive days.

“It will be a short-lived syndrome,” says Dr. Robert Oliverio, Chief Medical Officer of Ambulatory Care and Population Health for Roper St. Francis Hospital. “Even if you do get chills or a headache or dizziness. It’s going to be a day, no longer than a day.”

Aside from some cold chills and tightness in the arm, doctors say so far the vaccine rollout has gone as expected across the state.

“The most common reaction that folks get and the most likely to get is just soreness at the site of injection,” says Dr. Oliverio. “Most of [the reactions] have to deal with what we’re trying to do which is develop an immune response to the COVID-19 virus.”

Vaccinations are rolling out at rapid speed to those who need them most, and doctors are hopeful that more relief could be on the way for a quicker path back to normalcy.

“Stay safe because you know the vaccine is coming and our hope is, starting after the first of the year, we will be able to start vaccinating, [more people]” says Dr. Oliverio.

A cautious warning to those gearing up for holiday plans, doctors the safest bet is to stay home and celebrate with those living in your household.

“Just because there is a vaccination out there doesn’t mean the situation any safer right now,” says Dr. Oliverio. “Very few people have gotten vaccinated.”

Dr. Oliverio says while they have yet to come across a case of severe reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine in South Carolina, he would much rather treat someone for an allergic reaction than COVID-19.

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