Why the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can make you feel lousy – The Mercury News

With the Shingrix shingles vaccine, individuals often say: Oh my goodness, that 2nd shot. A: “Were learning that both of these vaccines look like they work very well in avoiding major illness and hospitalization. And that is a sign that the vaccine isnt working quite as well as we want it. A: If required, vaccine “boosters” could help in two ways. They can also assist fend off a brand-new viral version that could render existing vaccines ineffective.

With your very first dosage of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, perhaps you felt a slightly sore arm.
However the 2nd dosage is gaining a reputation for packing a punch. About 40 to 50 percent of individuals experience signs such as tiredness, headache and even chills or a fever.
As millions of Californians await their shots, they wonder: Whats going on? We asked professionals.
Q: Why do we feel adverse effects to vaccines?
A: “The reactogenicity that we see– the systemic and local responses– are short-lived and normally happen between one to 3 days after vaccination. Theyre basically a reflection of your bodys way of establishing immunity.”
– Grace Lee, M.D., professor of pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine
Q: Why does the second dose trigger more problems?
A: The first shot teaches your immune cells to acknowledge the virus; its accelerating. With the 2nd shot, there are more immune cells all set and waiting to release a significant defense. The muscle pains and fever come from inflammation; your immune cells are sending out an alarm in the kind of chemicals called cytokines.
” Your body immune system is primed with dose one. Youre getting improved with dose two. That shows your bodys fast response. … Your body is seeing it for the 2nd time and remembering it, and is establishing the powerful immune reaction that it requires to react to infection.”
– Grace Lee, M.D., teacher of pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine
Q. What can I do to counter the adverse effects?
A. Dont be tempted to avoid your second dosage. The Pfizer-BioNTech shots are spaced 21 days apart; the Moderna shots are 28 days apart. While the very first dose supplies some security around 12 days, you wont be fully protected until two weeks after your 2nd dose.
Schedule the second dose when you can get some additional rest if possible. If you experience extreme adverse effects, its safe to take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil). Ice might help a sore arm. Major allergies are very uncommon.
Q: Are there age distinctions in the reaction?
A: Older adults tend to have a milder reaction than more youthful people because “their immune systems are not reacting as vigorously as a young adults, however they still get 95 percent protection from the infection.”
– William Schaffner, M.D., teacher of preventive medication and contagious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Q: Why does not everyone experience them?
A: Aside from age, professionals dont understand why some people have more intense reactions than others do.
” Everyone reacts in a different way. There really is a series of adverse effects or responses and not everybody will have a lot. Whichs OKAY since we have information from the trials that even in those who do not have adverse effects, there is fantastic effectiveness.”
– Grace Lee, M.D., professor of pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine
Q: I felt OK after the 2nd dose. Does that mean Im not safeguarded?
A: Think back on your education. You may have fond memories of the fun of main school.
” The primary vaccination taught the easy things to the immune system, like in main school. Sixth grade fractions and all of that– those are quite easy, but crucial.
Does that mean that the main school education wasnt actually an education, due to the fact that it didnt truly cause you pain? No.
And after that it had a secondary school or college education, which is a bit hard. It entered calculus and physics. Still, the immune system went through it, and that was actually excellent.
In the end, you had the complete education. Thats precisely how vaccines work.”
– Bali Pulendran, M.D., teacher of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine
Q: Why do not other vaccines trigger these problems?
A: Some do.
” It occurs with lots of, many other vaccines. With the Shingrix shingles vaccine, individuals in some cases state: Oh my goodness, that second shot. I had a fever for a day.
” This is not something that is special to the mRNA vaccines. This is a basic function of any vaccine.”
– Bali Pulendran, M.D., teacher of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine
Q: If Im exposed to the infection after vaccination, will I also feel these signs?
A: Unlikely.
” It is going to depend on just how much virus enters into your system. If youre exposed, itll enter your nasal passages– and hopefully, it will stay there. This is what we call mucosal resistance. It is a local immune response.
” Its not like that 2nd dose of the vaccine, which is getting injected into your whole system, and so the lymph nodes react. Thats a full-body action.”
– Aruna Subramanian, M.D., medical professor of medicine– transmittable illness at Stanford Healthcare
Q: What are “vaccine failures”?
A: “Were learning that both of these vaccines appear like they work extremely well in preventing serious illness and hospitalization. However in clinical trials, some people have actually established symptomatic disease. Which is an indication that the vaccine isnt working rather in addition to we desire it. We d enjoy for it to avoid all illness.”
– Annie Luetkemeyer, M.D., professor of transmittable illness at UC San Francisco
Q: Is there a chance that Ill get contaminated after being vaccinated, but experience no signs?
A: “My guess is what were going to find out about asymptomatic infection– if and when it takes place after vaccination– is that people have just a bit of infection around.
” Its most likely not going to be sufficient to really establish a robust infection or inflammatory response. I suspect were not going to see long haul complications. Whether its infectious to others? That stays to be seen.”
– Annie Luetkemeyer, M.D., professor of transmittable illness at UCSF
Q: After the 2nd dosage, for how long do the vaccines provide protection?
A: We dont yet know.
” The data are insufficient due to the fact that we havent had these vaccines for long. The good news is– in the time that we have had them and been able to study them– we have not truly seen a considerable waning of levels of resistance.
” Right now it appears like the half life of the antibodies after vaccination are at least a year, and most likely longer than that.”
– Joel Ernst, M.D., professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Experimental Medicine at UCSF

Q: Is it likely well need ongoing “booster shots”?
A: If needed, vaccine “boosters” might help in two methods. They can charge the immune response against the original infection. They can also assist fend off a new viral variant that could render existing vaccines inadequate. Its not known if theyre necessary.
” What we dont understand is exactly what level of antibodies is enough to protect us. So theres a lot of monitoring right now, and an increasing quantity of viral sequencing to know what versions are occurring.”
– Joel Ernst, M.D., teacher of medicine and chief of the Division of Experimental Medicine at UCSF

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