INSIDER – After receiving her second shot of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, Susan Ladov hardly slept a wink.
“I spent the night waking up about every hour, hour and a half,” the 74-year-old from New Jersey said. “When I got up out of bed, I just felt very shaky and chilled.”
Her 75-year-old husband, who had gotten the same second shot about a week earlier, said he felt nothing day-of and then mild arm soreness the next.
This wide range of short-term second-dose side effects is common across age groups and vaccine brands.
At best, vaccine-takers may experience just a hint of arm pain. At worst, the day after shot number two can feel like a full-blown flu with nausea, vomiting, and body aches.
Though they’re not life-threatening, it’s important to be prepared physically and mentally for these side effects. That may mean taking at least a day off from work, if possible.
Vaccine reactions are common, but temporary
During the first month of COVID-19 vaccinations across the US, 13 million doses were given, according to the CDC.
No one in the US is required to report how they feel after a vaccination, but among nearly 7,000 volunteers who shared their side effects with the CDC that month, most noted some arm pain. After that, headaches, fatigue, and dizziness were the most common complaints.
All of this temporary pain is working towards one goal: getting your body ready to stand up to the coronavirus.
Professor Akiko Iwasaki, who studies viruses at Yale, says this process happens in two ways.
First, there is the innate immune response, which happens almost immediately.
Second, there is an adaptive immune response, which can take a little longer to present. The initial, innate immune response is often why people get arm pain at the injection site …
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