PETALING JAYA: Prof Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman experienced some side effects after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine. But she was “happy to feel some discomfort” after the jab.
The infectious diseases specialist at Universiti Malaya and president of the Malaysian AIDS Foundation said she felt numbness at the spot where she was injected with her first dose.
She also felt tired and had a slight fever after receiving the second dose, but both symptoms disappeared within a day.
“I was actually very happy to have felt them as it meant that my immune system was working hard to protect me from an even worse infection, ” she said at a webinar organised by Science Media Centre Malaysia titled “Vaccine vs Covid-19: Which is worse?”.
Dr Adeeba, who is also a WHO Science Council Member, said most people would have experienced
the same side effects after receiving the vaccine, but those who didn’t shouldn’t be worried.
“If you don’t experience any side effects, it doesn’t mean the vaccine isn’t working. Everyone is different and will have different experiences, ” she added.
Dr Adeeba pointed out that many studies had shown the effectiveness of the vaccine, which had helped reduce the number of Covid-19 patients having to be admitted to hospital.
She cited an example in Scotland, where hospital admissions dropped by about 90% after administering the first dose of the vaccine.
Dr Masita Arip, a consultant pathologist in microbiology and immunology at the Institute for Medical Research, experienced similar side effects after receiving her vaccine dose.
“It wasn’t so bad after the first dose, but I felt feverish after the second dose. That all went away after I took some medicine.
“It was just my body producing antibodies to protect me from an infection, ” she said.
On the claim that there were still people getting infected after receiving the vaccine, Dr Masita said the numbers were small and cases were isolated.
She said a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in March, which involved over 28,000 healthcare workers at the University of California (UC) in San Diego and Los Angeles who got both doses of the vaccine, found that only 1.19% of healthcare workers in UC San Diego and 0.7% in UCLA were infected afterwards.
“It’s very rare, but it’s important to note that the vaccine will protect you against more severe infections, ” Dr Masita said.
Both health experts also assured the people that measures were
in place to monitor any side effects of the vaccines after their administration.