You had your first COVID-19 vaccine and the side effects were as expected, some fever, arm pain, maybe a fever. What can you expect when you get your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?
“With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need 2 shots in order for them to work. Get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get a second shot.”What to Expect after Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine
What will the side effects be like this time?
Side Effects After the Second Dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine
If you didn’t have any side effects or had a minimal reaction with your first dose, you might be hoping for the same experience with the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
On the other hand, if you had more moderate symptoms, you are probably hoping for a better experience this time.
So what do we know about side effects after the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccines?
“Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious-disease expert, said he suffered mild side effects after receiving a second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.”Fauci Says He Had Brief Side Effects From Second Vaccine Dose
In general, you can expect more side effects after the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccines.
And that’s for both the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.
“Within each age group, the frequency and severity of systemic adverse events was higher after dose 2 than dose 1.”Local Reactions, Systemic Reactions, Adverse Events, and Serious Adverse Events: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
Still, that shouldn’t keep you from getting your second dose!
In fact, the very few contraindications to getting a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine except having a:
- severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) after a previous dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or any of its components
- immediate allergic reaction (hypersensitivity-related signs or symptoms such as urticaria, angioedema, respiratory distress (e.g., wheezing, stridor), or anaphylaxis that occur within four hours following administration) of any severity to a previous dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or any of its components (including polyethylene glycol [PEG])
- immediate allergic reaction of any severity to polysorbate (due to potential cross-reactive hypersensitivity with the vaccine ingredient PEG)
If you had a mild or moderate reaction to your first dose, with just pain, fever, or fatigue, etc., you can still get your second dose.
And be reassured that except for anaphylaxis at a rate of about 2.8 to 5 per million doses, current safety monitoring systems have found no safety issues with our COVID-19 vaccines.
In addition to the Vaccine Safety Datalink rapid cycle analysis of COVID-19 vaccine data, no empirical Bayesian data mining alerts have been detected for any adverse event and the COVID-19 vaccine in VAERS.
Do folks who have had already COVID-19 have more side effects after they are vaccinated?
While there are anecdotal reports that this might be the case, we don’t yet know if this is true. We will hopefully have data to confirm or refute this soon though. For now, since we don’t know how long natural immunity after a COVID-19 lasts, it is recommended that everyone gets a COVID-19 vaccine when their turn comes up.
More on COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects
- COVID-19 Vaccination Questions and Answers
- Will COVID-19 Vaccines Prevent the Spread of SARS-CoV-2 Infections?
- Fainting After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine
- Have Thousands Been Negatively Affected After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine?
- COVID-19 VAERS Reports
- Where Are the COVID-19 Package Inserts?
- The Truth About COVID-19 Vaccines
- ACIP Presentation Slides: January 27, 2021 Meeting
- CDC – Local Reactions, Systemic Reactions, Adverse Events, and Serious Adverse Events: Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
- CDC – Local Reactions, Systemic Reactions, Adverse Events, and Serious Adverse Events: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
- CDC – What to Expect after Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine
- CDC – Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Authorized in the United States
- CISA COVIDvax
- Fauci Says He Had Brief Side Effects From Second Vaccine Dose