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Vietnamese doctor in the U.S shares experiences of receiving Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

March 18, 2021 | 10:19

Dr. Nguyen Hong Vu, working at Cancer Research Institute, City of Hope, California, the United States shared his experiences of being injected with Covid-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

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Concerning the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine

After one week of launching the inoculation campaign with the AstraZeneca vaccine, Vietnam has reported 15 cases displaying severe reactions after administration, of which 14 cases experiencing the level 2 anaphylaxis (breathing difficulty, narrow pulse pressure, angioedema at the injection site, diarrhea), and one in Hai Duong province suffering anaphylaxis which is considered the most severe post- immunization reaction. However, all of them were timely treated and now in stable health conditions.

In fact, these side effects are not only detected in AstraZeneca recipients. According to Dr. Nguyen Hong Vu, working at Cancer Research Institute, City of Hope, California, the United States), in the third stage of testing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the U.S, there were deaths among a total of 44,000 people receiving the vaccine. However, the mortality rate in this clinical trial was equivalent to one in the age groups in the community given the vaccine, Lao Dong reported.

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A medical worker receives the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the Evaristo Garcia University Hospital, Colombia. Photo: AFP

Dr. Vu said that there is no evidence demonstrating the link between these deaths and the side effects caused by the COVID-19 vaccine.

The resident's concern about the safety of vaccines that have recently been approved for use in emergency cases is reasonable, Vu added.

Nevertheless, according to him, the nature of vaccines is activating the immune system in the body to recognize and destroy the virus. Thus, post-immunization reactions are completely normal. The benefits of vaccines outweigh their side effects.

Dr. Nguyen Hong Vu shares his experiences of being injected with Covid-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

Several side effects caused by the COVID-19 vaccine are muscle aches, pain at the bicep or arm. In particular, after the second shot, the immune system reacts more strongly, causing fever, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue.

In order to give people a more objective view about the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Hong Vu shared his experience of being inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

After the first jab, he only developed mild reactions such as muscle aches, which lasted for about 1-2 hours. Reactions after the second shot were stronger, including fever, exhaustion, and chills. However, all of these reactions completely disappeared after 6 hours.

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Dr. Nguyen Hong Vu works at Cancer Research Institute, City of Hope, California, the U.S. Photo courtesy of Vu.

“My wife suffered from fevers for a longer time, but it also disappeared after 24 hours. Some of my colleagues only experience mild headaches. We did not feel worried as side effects on each person are totally different”, Vu said.

Vu added that young and healthy people should get vaccinated. Vaccines will help to reduce the chance of the virus attacking the body, thereby preventing the risk of person-to-person transmission. This is the basic premise of community immunity. The more people in the community receive vaccines, the fewer people will be contracted the virus.

"Vaccinating also helps to diminish the risk of infection for those susceptible to the disease but unable to vaccinate, including people with immunodeficiency-related diseases such as leukemia, HIV, those allergic to ingredients in the vaccines or pregnant women”, Vu stressed.

Covid-19 vaccination in the U.S

The United States has administered 113,037,627 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Wednesday morning and distributed 147,590,615 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The tally is for Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines as of 6:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, the agency said.

According to the tally posted on March 16, the agency had administered 110,737,856 doses of the vaccines and distributed 142,918,525 doses, Financial Post reported.

The agency said 73,669,956 people had received at least one dose, while 39,989,196 people were fully vaccinated as of Wednesday.

A total of 7,585,936 vaccine doses have been administered in long-term care facilities, the agency said.

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On March 16, more 4,260 people in Vietnam were administered the Covid-19 vaccine, raising the tally of recipients to 20,695.

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