‘COVID arm’ Moderna side effect, no cause for alarm


HONOLULU(KHON2) — There are a number of minor known side effects from the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine. One of them was dubbed “COVID arm.”

Honolulu resident Alex Reinprecht was excited to get his first dose of the vaccine. He booked his appointment at CVS a week and a half ago.

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“I got the Moderna vaccine, and the initial reaction was just a little soreness in the injection site,” Reinprecht said.

Other than that, he said he didn’t experience any other side effects for the first week.

“But after eight days, suddenly and out of nowhere, I got this big egg that grew on my arm,” he explained. “It was just super itchy and painful to the touch.”

After doing a little digging online, he found out he had “COVID arm.”

It is a term given to a rash that some develop after getting the Moderna shot.

According to Dr. Alan Wu of Doctors of Waikiki, it’s a minor localized reaction.

“It can be itchy red, painful and a little swollen,” explained Wu. “That’s caused by the vaccine and what we call a delayed T-cell mediated response, hyper sensitivity response.”

Though annoying and sore, Wu said, its harmless and should go away within a week.

“If it hurts take some Tylenol or some Ibuprofen, that can help with the swelling,” Wu said. “If it’s really itchy, you can take some Benadryl.”

According to a report by the New England Journal of Medicine, less than one percent of people who get the Moderna shot had the reaction and about half of those had it again after the second shot.

According to the CDC, if you get “COVID arm,” you should still get your second shot, they suggest getting it in the other arm.

Reinprecht said the possibility of getting COVID-19 is much worse than getting a temporary rash.

“It’s just an inconvenience,” Reinprecht said. “I’d do it again. I’m looking forward to my second shot. All I’m going to do is get the injection on the other arm just in case.”

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