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No side effects from COVID vaccine at UF Health

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll out -- another 100 more employees at UF Health Jacksonville got the shots on Tuesday -- experts are closely monitoring recipients for any side effects.

David Meysenburg, the division director of critical care at UF Health, was one of the first to receive the vaccine on Monday. He said no one among the initial group to get a shot had any problems.

“After you get a flu shot, sometimes people have symptoms. Really, after any kind of medication, there’s a possibility you’re going to have some kind of reaction or symptoms,” Meysenburg said. “But like I said, I feel great. Just a little bit of soreness at the end injection site. That’s it.”

Mindful of the fact that a lot of people hesitant to get the vaccine, Meysenburg said he did his own research and didn’t find any reason for hesitation

“I feel 100% comfortable in taking the vaccine. I feel it’s something everybody should do and I think it’s the way we get past this pandemic,” Meysenburg said.

Unlike some flu vaccines, the COVID-19 shot does not contain a live virus.

“Instead, this vaccine uses MRNA technologies, so, in essence, we are basically fooling the body into activating the immune system against COVID-19,” said is Chad Neilsen, director of infection prevention at UF Health Jacksonville. “There is no live or dead virus with this vaccine.”

Neilsen added that even though the vaccine came to market quickly, there is every reason to believe it is safe because scientists have been working to develop coronavirus vaccines for quite some time that can be adapted to a particular strain.


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