Hamilton County health officials say COVID-19 vaccine side effects no cause for alarm

Posted at 4:45 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 18:31:28-05

CINCINNATI — Shots to shield people from contracting the coronavirus have been generating some unexpected hiccups, and some of that evidence is popping up right here in the Tri-State.

As Hamilton County health officials work to prepare ultra-cold freezers to store the first round of the Pfizer-developed vaccine to arrive locally, doctors at UC Health have partnered with Moderna to develop an alternative. Dr. Carl Fichtenbaum is leading that research and said some test subjects have exhibited side effects, but that is not a reason for alarm.

"I think the negative voices are always louder than the positive voices on anything. I just think we all have to be mindful of what we're facing," Fichtenbaum told WCPO.

When WCPO asked Dr. O'dell Owens, CEO of Interact for Health, if any side effects he's seen or read about signaled any red flags, he said, "Absolutely not."

"When you get a vaccine or some kind of medication, there's always going to be some side effects," he said.

But he did prescribe caution: His concern lies primarily with individuals who have reactions to injections or vaccinations in general.

"I think if you are sensitive, maybe you shouldn't take this particular vaccine," Owens said. "Remember there are going to be maybe three different choices. So you might respond to this one and you may not be reactive to the next one."

Hamilton County Board of Commissioners President Denise Driehaus said the speed with which the first doses of the vaccine will arrive is cause for applause, not skepticism.

"Having a vaccine in less than a year is a triumph for us in our fight against this pandemic," she said.

The first doses of the Pfizer-developed vaccine are expected to arrive in Ohio by Dec. 15 and to the county shortly thereafter, Driehaus said.