Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Volunteers Say It Feels like a ‘Severe Hangover’

The first volunteers are coming back with their feedback on the vaccine.
Fabienne Lang

Taking part in a blind vaccine clinical trial can have its moments of discomfort, especially if the side effects — regardless of whether they're brought on from the drug or the placebo effect — are harsh. 

Some of the first volunteers of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine are sharing their experiences, and the effects of the drug are being compared to a "severe hangover," the U.S. Sun reports.

Complete with headaches, fever, and muscle aches, the side effects indeed sound very much like the day after a heavy night out on the town. 


Pfizer's Phase 3 trials consisted of over 43,500 people in six different countries. None of them were told whether they'd been injected with the actual vaccine or a placebo.

However, some volunteers believe they were given the drug as they felt some side effects, such as the aforementioned head and body aches, and fever. 

It was a double-blind test 

Trial volunteer, Glenn Deshields, a 44-year-old man from Austin, Texas, stated that the symptoms were comparable to those of a "severe hangover," but that they soon cleared up. 

Another comparison is closer to that of a flu jab, typically administered in autumn. Carrie from Missouri told Metro UK that her symptoms were like those she was used to feeling after her flu jabs. After she was given her first Pfizer shot in september, she had a headache, fever, and body aches. However, the symptoms were more severe after she got the second shot.

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That said, neither Deshields nor Carrie, who only provided her first name, actually know if they were given the actual drug or the placebo, as this was a double-blind test. 

Deshields, though, is pretty confident he had been given the vaccine, as he took an antibody test afterward, which came back positive. He was "very excited" when the news of the vaccine being 90 percent effective came out, reported New York Post.

Most of the COVID-19 vaccines that are underway are either in or moving past their Phase 3 trials, with the target for their approvals coming before the end of the year still in clear sight.

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