Coronavirus Vaccine Trial Participant Reveals Potential Side Effects of Shot

A British man taking part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial has revealed the potential side effects of the shot include a fever "at worst."

Simeon Courtie, an author and former children's TV presenter, is taking part in a trial being run by the University of Oxford's Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group. Starting Friday, phase one of the trial will test whether the vaccine is safe to use in healthy volunteers, and enable researcher to see if it generates an immune response. There are 500 people taking part in the trial, Courtie told Good Morning Britain.

Courtie said he was told the side effects would be "something along the lines of having flu." As everyone is reacts differently the severity will vary, he said. "I think at worst maybe a fever for a couple of days and some aches and pains. It shouldn't be too disruptive to my life."

Courtie has attended the Jenner Institute in Oxford for screenings, and will have his first dose next Wednesday, he said.

Ohid Yaqub, senior lecturer at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex who is not working on the study, said in a statement, "the vaccine they are testing is a small part of the COVID virus, packaged inside a delivery vector, neither of which can cause disease but may be successful in triggering an immune response."

Yaqub said: "The trial will mostly be looking for any problems or severe adverse reactions. There will very likely be none, so the trial is also designed to enable us to learn a little bit about efficacy at the same time."

There is currently no vaccine or specific treatment for COVID-19, which has killed over 184,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 2.6 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and at least 721,531 have recovered. As the graph by Statista below shows, the U.S. is the county with the most known cases.

There are over 100 potential vaccines in development around the world, with the Oxford group among the first to test theirs in human volunteers.

statista, covid19, coronavirus,
A map showing the countries with the most known COVID-19 cases. Statista

Yaqub said: "In terms of broader policy context, this is extremely early days. We should be careful not to tempt people working on vaccines into estimating or making optimistic predictions about when a vaccine will be ready. There is a long history of over-optimistic vaccine predictions.

"Even if a vaccine unexpectedly becomes available, it is too early even to speculate whether it will have high efficacy or low efficacy. A low efficacy vaccine will have different policy implications in terms of how it should be rolled out.

"I therefore think public policy attention should continue to focus on testing and on healthcare system capacity, and should focus on lockdown and managing the social costs of (partial) lockdown for as long as possible."

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.