Same as the first.
A little bit sorer
And a little bit worse.
Is it sorer? Yes, a bit. Worse? That’s yet to be determined.
I received my second dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine today. My employer warned us to expect a stronger reaction this time and to plan accordingly, for example, planning to schedule your vaccine at the end of your shift and to space out doses from your colleagues of the same discipline. But I’m off today, so I got it in the morning without dramatic fanfare. I didn’t even get a bandaid! I did, however, get a shiny new entry on my CDC card.
It is assumed that this dose is more risky because now your body reacts to recognizing what was introduced weeks ago. The immune response can be stronger for this reason. There is also a window in which you can receive it, starting at day 18 after the first one for the Pfizer vaccine. Some trial participants have warned of severe immune responses after the second dose with both Pfizer and Moderna versions, which seemed to especially affect younger participants.
So, what about that second dose? With the rapid proliferation of the new variant of the virus in the UK that has already spread to the US among those who haven’t even traveled outside of the country, some medical experts are considering delaying it. This is to ensure more people can get vaccinated, since 70% immunity from one dose is better than none. Considering that there hasn’t been a definitive plan set forth by the federal government for vaccinating, and that the development and implementation of any plan is being left to the states, this might make sense. But this plan, which was originally devised in the UK, has been met with much criticism. I think that frontline workers should absolutely receive both does in the recommended time frame since we have definite, regular exposure to the virus. But from a public health perspective, I understand why a one dose plan would be favorable for the general population, especially if doses are in short supply. (More debate on this plan here.)
It’s now late afternoon, and, so far, so good. My arm is already a bit sore, where last time it wasn’t until I rolled over in the middle of the night that I felt it. Other than that, not much is different than the first go round. Crossing my fingers that it remains this way! Even if I do have a mild reaction like a fever, it’s still got to be better than getting COVID itself. I will definitely update this if things change, though!
I’ve enjoyed and felt a bit of pride for all of my friends sharing their vaccination pictures and stories on social media! It’s still a difficult choice, and I completely understand apprehension which arises from a multitude of reasons. But for those of us who can, getting vaccinated helps your community as much as it can help you. I certainly feel more prepared to help patients who are COVID positive and a bit safer running errands. I’m still going to wear my mask and socially distance, though!
Have you been vaccinated? If so, have you received your second dose yet? I’d love to hear about your experience. As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.
About 12 hours after getting the vaccine, which was just after 9:00 last night, I developed chills and body aches. I spent most of the night feeling very cold and huddled under multiple layers of polar fleece. This morning, getting ready for work was met with hot flashes! Go figure. I did work today, but was definitely not 100%. I hope tomorrow is better!