• White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has shared which of the COVID vaccine side effects he experienced after he received the Moderna vaccine earlier this week.
  • The only COVID vaccine side effect Dr. Fauci mentioned experiencing was having a little bit of a sore arm.
  • More vaccine side effects, Dr. Fauci said in a new interview, are temporary and nothing to worry about.

One of the most high-profile Americans most closely associated with the US’ fight against the COVID-19 virus from a scientific standpoint received his jab of the vaccine this week.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert and also the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was given the Moderna vaccine on Tuesday. Dr. Fauci let himself be given the vaccine publicly “to build confidence” in its safety — and it’s also worth noting that the Moderna vaccine was co-developed with scientists at the NIAID, where Fauci works. Meanwhile, there’s one question you might still be asking — what COVID vaccine side effects, if any, did Dr. Fauci experience?

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In an interview with CBS News on Wednesday, Dr. Fauci stressed that he feels “quite good” after getting the Moderna jab, although he did acknowledge feeling one side effect, in particular: A little bit of a sore arm, though he didn’t feel anything along those lines at first, until later on in the afternoon.

“This is very typical of vaccinations,” Dr. Fauci said. “The same thing happened with other non-COVID vaccines that I’ve had over the years.

“I felt a little bit achy, but nothing to be bothering or distracting me. Went to bed last night, had a good night’s sleep, woke up this morning. The only thing I have is just a little bit of a soreness in the arm. Otherwise, I’m doing really well.”

In a commentary for Stat News, Wayne C. Koff, president and CEO of the Human Vaccines Project, and Michelle A. Williams, the dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, wrote that this is one thing people need to understand about the vaccines. The more people hear about the odd adverse reaction here and there, it leads some people to think that the vaccines aren’t safe and that there is some degree of information that’s being hidden about them. Safe, though, doesn’t mean free of side effects.

“Covid-19 is yet another instance in which the risk of not being vaccinated is far greater than the risk of side effects posed by the vaccine itself,” they write. “Of the tens of thousands of people who have already been vaccinated, some have reported short-term symptoms like fever or aches, and a few have reported allergic reactions.” Compare that to the virus itself, they continue. According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 18.4 million coronavirus cases have been reported in the US, along with more than 326,000 deaths.

Most potential vaccine side effects, Dr. Fauci continued in his interview, are temporary and nothing to worry about.

“You have to look at the history of vaccinology and say, ‘When do you get toxic or adverse effects,'” he said. “You get the first immediate, like the pain in my arm that I’m feeling this morning, that’ll be gone tomorrow.”

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Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.