Health officials say side effects to COVID-19 vaccine mean it’s working

People in our area have reported everything from no symptoms to getting knocked off their feet

As more people get the COVID-19 vaccine, we talked to health officials about side effects.

ROANOKE, Va. – As more people get the COVID-19 vaccine, we’re working to find out why some people have no reaction to the shot, while others experience some side effects.

Vaccines continue to roll out across the country and our region, and people are seeing varying side effects to their shots.

Steve Cadora of Roanoke said it was smooth sailing.

“I had a little bit of fatigue, but I think that’s because I was so excited I got four and a half hours sleep the night before. Other than a little bit of drowsiness, zero symptoms,” Cadora said.

But not everyone has been as lucky, with some others reporting mild to severe reactions in the hours that follow getting stuck.

Joshua Garbrielson of Roanoke said he was surprised by his reaction, but it was nothing he couldn’t handle.

“I had a little bit of a temperature the next day, and I kind of felt a little groggy almost like I had the flu, I was tired, I took an hour-long nap,” Gabrielson said.

Both received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at different points over the last month and a half.

Dr. Noelle Bissell of the New River Valley Health District said reports of major side effects in our area are rare, and symptoms mean it’s working.

“Those are all expected, normal side effects. They do not mean that, I mean the vaccine can not give you COVID, this is the vaccine revving up your immune system to fight COVID,” Dr. Bissell said.

Both men are back to full health and feel thankful they’ve been vaccinated. They said being protected against COVID-19 far outweighs any negative, short-term side effects.

“To me, it was like a minor speedbump in the road, honestly with the symptoms that I had,” Gabrielson said.

“The people that you trust for your medical care are going to recommend that you get it and there’s really no reason not to listen to them,” Cadora said.