Second vaccine dose may evoke more ‘intense’ symptoms

Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 11:06 AM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - More than 40,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Alabama and many people have begun to receive the second dose.

The second dose is what gives you the full effects and unfortunately that can mean heightened side-effects.

Medical professionals are among the first to get both doses, including those at the Birmingham VA and UAB, like Dr. Gaffo who tweeted his experience.

UAB received the 10,725 booster shots earlier this week for the same number initially vaccinated.

Your initial reaction could be heightened.

“Whatever happens with the first shot, you will probably experience it more intensely with the second shot and again that’s what we expect it to do,” explained Dr. Wesley Willeford, with Jefferson County Department of Public Health.

He explains that the immune system is building a strong reaction and building protection, and that process can give you symptoms like fatigue. However, the top symptom:

“That sore arm, I think that’s pretty universal, people are going to have a fairly remarkably sore arm,” said Dr. Willeford.

69 percent of people reported fatigue in the Moderna trial and 63 percent of people in Pfizer’s did as well.

The effects so far last about a day, Dr. Willeford said.

Other common reactions are headaches and muscle aches.

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