Side Effects More Common from the Second COVID Vaccine

Millions more COVID-19 vaccines are being manufactured to be distributed across the globe. Of the 22 million people who received the COVID vaccine in January, more than two million reported feeling ill afterwards. Since getting inoculated with either the first or second vaccine, patients and human trial participants have begun digitally uploading their symptoms and status into V-safe, a health tracker tool developed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CDC, FDA Proclaim Vaccines Very Safe and Effective

The simple, self-reporting CDC web surveys and patient text messages were initially collected to ensure every patient received their corresponding second dose on time. The online V-safe health portal also allows people to report symptoms and aftereffects from the vaccine, and the CDC closely  monitors and analyses the health outcomes.

Of those two million participants who’ve already had one or two inoculations, V-safe reported:

  • 70% reported localized pain at injection site
  • 33% were fatigued
  • 30% had headaches
  • 23% reported muscle and joint aches

Researchers noted these side effects popped up more frequently in the second dose of both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccine. Basically, the first inoculation likely helps the human body recognize an invading infection and preps your immune system for the viral onslaught. The second booster is reported to fortify your chemical immune response and trigger complex protective mechanisms.

Less Common Side Effects of the COVID Booster

Several lesser-known reactions among vaccinated patients are being reported. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines may cause swollen lymph nodes, conjunctivitis, diarrhea, and nausea according to the FDA. Most patients experienced relief with steroids and antihistamines. About 85% of those trial participants had long histories of allergies already. Though exceedingly rare, in December 2020 the CDC detected 21 cases of anaphylaxis after administering 1,893,360 first doses of the Pfizer vaccine (or 11.1 cases per million doses). There were no deaths.

Mild side effects from the COVID vaccines should not dissuade anyone from getting both doses, urge some of the top health experts in the world. While the first doses deliver significant protection against the virus, it’s vital to return and get your second booster on time. Only then do you receive the full and long-term preventive effects.

Still in the early stages of COVID vaccine science, scientists will continue to collect and provide lifesaving data to prove these two-dose vaccines are up to 95% effective. As the single dose COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson is being developed and readied for FDA approval, scientists and healthcare communicators are wondering about potential reactions from their single-dose vaccine.