With the spread of the COVID vaccine already underway, more than 68,000,000 doses have been administered in the United States. This is promising news not only for our eventual safety and return to normal, but also for data collection: with a much larger set of vaccinated individuals from the initial trial groups, we learn a lot about what to expect from the vaccine itself. In particular, there is a common experience that doctors now say people need to be “prepared for”
While the evidence from the United States is currently anecdotal, a study in the United Kingdom found that the second dose of COVID did give higher levels of side effects. The researchers looked at data from 40,000 subjects, more than 12,000 of whom received both doses of the vaccine, and found that the rate of side effects increased for the second time. Following a single dose, 37% of recipients reported local side effects, including pain or swelling near the injection site, and 12% reported at least one whole body side effect in the days after injection. After the second dose, these figures rose: 45% reported experiencing local side effects and 22% reported wider effects.
Doctors explain that this escalation of side effects makes sense given the way vaccines work. “The second vaccine [dose]”Think about it hitting your immune system and your immune system already recognizing the vaccine, so it’s doing its job.” Cavite patella, MD, a medical associate at NBC News recently said Al Rocker. “Just get ready,” she said, adding that she had personally experienced side effects after her own second dose of COVID.
Bill Moss, MD, pediatrician and professor of epidemiology of infectious diseases at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore agreed with Patel’s assessment. “The second dose is really like a booster dose,” he said. “The immune system sees the vaccine for the first time with the first dose and responds, and the cells of the immune system are recruited to recognize this protein jump (the part of the coronavirus that the vaccine affects). So when the body’s immune system sees [the vaccine] the second time there are more cells and there is a more intense immune response, which leads to these side effects, “Moss explained.
However, if you do not experience side effects, this is also completely normal. “If you don’t have a reaction, you don’t have to worry about it not working,” Patel explained. “Every person and body is different.” Read about everything you need to know about the potential side effects, as well as promising news about another vaccine. This other vaccine can now protect you from COVID, says a study.
The most commonly reported adverse reactions following COVID vaccination are injection site pain or swelling, chills, headache, fever and fatigue, according to the CDC. The bright side? Most people who experience these symptoms say that their reactions have been mild to moderate and improve with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. And for the latest COVID news delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
According to the COVID adviser in the White House Anthony Fauci, MD, side effects of vaccines are also short-lived. You can expect your discomfort to last up to 48 hours, and most side effects will stop after 24 hours. And for more vaccination tips, Dr. Fauci says you’ll easily get a vaccination appointment after that date.
Like the United Kingdom, the United States has a robust vaccine monitoring system to track potential side effects. If you feel discomfort, the CDC wants you to enter your symptoms in the v-safe application, a program designed to collect data on the spread. Once you register, you can expect invited medical check-ups after your appointment and “depending on your answers, someone from the CDC may call to check on you and get more information,” the health authority explained.
While it is true that some side effects are somewhat common after vaccination, there are several myths about side effects. Some incorrectly suggest that the COVID vaccine may alter a person’s DNA or infect you with a coronavirus. These claims are clearly untrue and scientifically impossible, according to the Mayo Clinic and other experts. And for more information on the side effects of the vaccine, Dr. Fauci says that these 2 side effects mean that the vaccine against COVID works.