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By LAURAN NEERGAARD | The Associated Press

Temporary side effects including headache, fatigue and fever are signs the immune system is revving up — a normal response to vaccines. And they’re common.

“The day after getting these vaccines, I wouldn’t plan anything that was strenuous physical activity,” said Dr.

Peter Marks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine chief, who experienced fatigue after his first dose.

Here’s what’s happening: The immune system has two main arms, and the first kicks in as soon as the body detects a foreign intruder. White blood cells swarm to the site, prompting inflammation that’s responsible for chills, soreness, fatigue and other side effects.

This rapid-response step of your immune system tends to wane with age, one reason younger people report side effects more often than older adults. Also, some vaccines simply elicit more reactions than others.

That said, everyone reacts differently. If you didn’t feel anything a day or two after either dose, that doesn’t mean the vaccine isn’t working.

Behind the scenes, the shots also set in motion the second part of your immune system, which will provide the real protection from the virus by producing antibodies.

Another nuisance side effect: As the immune system activates, it also sometimes causes temporary swelling in lymph nodes, such as those under the arm. Women are encouraged to schedule routine mammograms ahead of COVID-19 vaccination to avoid a swollen node being mistaken for cancer.

Not all side effects are routine. But after hundreds of millions of vaccine doses administered around the world — and intense safety monitoring — few serious risks have been identified. A tiny percentage of people who got vaccines made by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson reported an unusual type of blood clot. Some countries reserved those shots for older adults but regulatory authorities say the benefits of offering them still outweigh the risks.

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People also occasionally have serious allergic reactions. That’s why you’re asked to stick around for about 15 minutes after getting any type of COVID-19 vaccine — to ensure any reaction can be promptly treated.

Finally, authorities are trying to determine whether temporary heart inflammation that can occur with many types of infections also might be a rare side effect after the mRNA vaccines, the kind made by Pfizer and Moderna. U.S. health officials can’t yet tell if there’s a link but say they’re monitoring a small number of reports, mostly male teens or young adults.

 

News Source: mercurynews.com

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Palestinians Nix a Deal with Israel for 1 Million Perfectly Sound Vaccine Doses

The Palestinian Authority called off an agreement under which Israel would transfer one million doses of coronavirus vaccines to it, citing the close expiration date of the Pfizer vials, despite the Israel Health Ministry’s insistence the vaccines were “perfectly sound” and identical to those administered to Israelis.

Earlier this year, the Palestinians falsely claimed Israel was preventing the Palestinians from accessing coronavirus vaccines, in what was slammed by Israel’s envoy to the UN as a “grotesque blood libel.”

On Friday, hours after signing the agreement to receive the vaccines, the PA backtracked and said that the doses were too close to expiring and did not meet their standards. It said it had rejected a first batch of some 100,000 doses which were set to expire at the beginning of July.

The Health Ministry in Jerusalem reacted with surprise at the move, saying that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines were “perfectly sound” and “identical in every way to the vaccines currently being given to citizens of  Israel.” The ministry added that the Palestinians were aware of the expiration date prior to the deal.

According to health officials, using vaccines with a close expiration date is standard practice but the PA was nevertheless accused of accepting subpar vaccines by many Palestinian groups.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist group described the deal as “humiliating” and claimed it “could have harmed human life.”

Israel announced Friday it would transfer around 1 million doses of soon-to-expire coronavirus vaccines to the Palestinian Authority in exchange for a similar number of doses the Palestinians are expected to receive later this year from Pfizer.

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz tweeted: “The coronavirus does not recognize borders or differences between peoples. This important move to swap vaccines is in all of our interests. I hope this move will lead to further cooperation between Israel and our Palestinian neighbors in other fields.”

Israel conducted the world’s most successful vaccination drive, with more than 80 percent of its adult population having received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The Palestinian Authority, meanwhile, is struggling to vaccinate its population.

It had claimed that the onus to vaccinate its population lay with Israel, however, according to the Oslo Accords, the responsibility to do so lies directly with the Palestinians.

It also never formally requested Israel’s help in vaccinating its people and had informed Israel that it intends to purchase vaccines from the Russian government –  a move Israel said it would help facilitate. Israel did, however, vaccinate 100,000 Palestinians under employ in Israel.

Israel last week ditched the requirement to wear masks indoors – the last of its coronavirus regulations.

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