‘Moderna arm’: Some report itchy rash after getting Moderna vaccine

Coronavirus

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- We’re continuing to learn more and more about each vaccine and the differences. 

Recently, some people who get the Moderna vaccine are getting a rash-type reaction as a side effect. It’s being called ‘Moderna Arm.’  

A Gaston County healthcare worker told FOX 46 that it was a little bit alarming at first, but then she found out the rash is nothing to worry about.  

Carrie Meier says she got what kind of felt like an itchy bug bite from her Moderna COVID-19 shot, but it was actually the ‘Moderna arm,” or ‘COVID arm.’ It’s a harmless, but annoying reaction at the injection site. 

“In a meeting or watching TV, I was like ‘I keep scratching in the same place.’ And then noticed at some point it got very hard,” Meier said. “[It] felt like I had a knot in my arm, and it was hot to the touch, which was a little concerning because it seemed like a long time since I had gotten the vaccine. But it was clearly right where I had gotten the injection.”  

Meier says a couple of her co-workers at Gaston County Public Health had the same reaction about a week after getting the Moderna vaccine.  

“It went away on its own and now we’re hearing more and more that it’s a normal reaction,” Meier said.  

She says the swelling and heat went away within a day or two. The itching, though, lasted a little longer. Luckily, she didn’t get the rash with the second dose.  

“Even my mother called me and said ‘hey, I had this reaction,’ and by the time she called me and I FaceTimed her and I was like ‘I don’t see anything.’ It had already gone away,” said Dr. Tia Robertson, the Medical Director with Gaston County Public Health.

Dr. Robertson says ‘Moderna arm’ is harmless and it should not stop you from getting both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, she points to these pictures and a new study from the New England Journal of Medicine, which says very few people reported having the rash with the first dose and even fewer with the second dose.  

“Some people may get a repeat reaction and some people don’t, but if you do get a repeat reaction, it’s not anything to be concerned about because so far it doesn’t appear to be as worse as the first,” Robertson said.  

You can let the CDC know if you develop ‘Moderna arm,’ as they’re trying to keep track of any reactions with vaccines. 

Dr. Robertson says if you do happen to have the reaction, you can take an antihistamine like Benadryl if your arm itches and Tylenol if you have any pain. You can also throw an ice pack on your arm. 

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