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COVID-19 vaccines require two doses. Will patients take both?

Posted at 7:45 AM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 12:00:51-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The U.S. could be hours away from the first COVID-19 vaccine being approved. Pfizer’s public hearing with the FDA started Thursday morning.

If approved, the first batch of vaccines could arrive in the state as early as tomorrow.

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If and when vaccines are distributed, both the Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines require two doses with some time in between. The question is -- how do doctors make sure that patients come back for their second dose?

Experts say the key will be informing and preparing the patient for possible side effects.

A nursing researcher said she suspects she had the environmental vaccine as part of Pfizers phase three clinical trials. After the second dose, she said she was light-headed, nauseous, had a headache, ran a fever, and was hardly able to lift her arm because of muscle aches. She wasn’t warned about those side effects, but doctors say all of that is a normal response to the vaccine.

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"The immune system is revving up. It's responding to that vaccine, and I think we need to tell our patients that so that they expect that. Otherwise, they're gonna say wow that thing hurt I'm not coming back for that second dose,” said LJ Tan, Chief Strategy Officer for the Immunization Action Coalition.

Some doctors suggest putting information on side effects in vaccine distribution kits. The CDC says it plans to include index cards that will tell patients what they had and when their next dose is due. They’ll also include electronic reminders like emails or texts.