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Why are some people experiencing side effects after their second Pfizer and Moderna shot? UCSF doctor explains

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SAN FRANCISCO — As extra people are eligible to get vaccinated, studies of side effects after the second Pfizer and Moderna photographs are surfacing.

Dr. Robert Wachter, chief of drugs at UCSF says many of those side effects may final two to a few days. Dr. Wachter says side effects after the second shot are extra widespread as a result of the immune response to the second shot is even stronger than the response to the primary shot.

Luz Pena: “Having side effects is not a bad thing?”

Dr. Wachter: “No, it’s not. The way I think about them is it is a sign that it’s working. What is a little funky about that of course as soon as you say that people say ‘Oh I didn’t have side effects. Does that mean it’s not working?’ The answer is: no. These two things turn out to be true. The side effects are a sign that your body is producing its immune response. Not having side effects, you should consider yourself lucky, but the vaccine seems to work as well in people who didn’t have side effects.”

Pleasanton Resident Will Anz obtained his second Pfizer shot on March 24 and skilled side effects a number of hours after the vaccination.

“I play recreational hockey and I play goalie and I felt like I played 4 games of hockey in a row. That’s how much my body ached. From my neck and shoulders to my ankles,” mentioned Anz.

San Jose resident, Anastasia, is experiencing related side effects after receiving her second Pfizer shot on Thursday, April 15.

Luz Pena: “How are you feeling?”

Anastasia: “Feeling okay. A little bit better than yesterday,” and added, “I just had a really rough night. I think I slept an hour maybe. I just tossed and turned because I just had full body aches and I’m still experiencing that today just taking Tylenol and getting chill here and there.”

Dr. Wachter says body aches, a slight fever, and chills are an indication that your body is having an immune response.

Luz Pena: “Why is it that women and younger people are having more side effects than the older folks?”

Dr. Wachter: “The younger is easier than the women. The answer to women I don’t think I know and I don’t think we know. The answer to older vs. younger is younger people have a stronger more exuberant immune system. So the vaccine can induce what is called immunogenicity. Meaning your immune system kind of reacts and if you have a more powerful immune system which you do if you’re younger.”

Another side impact is insomnia. “I’ve heard of it. If system is revved up, could happen,” mentioned Dr. Wachter.

Many identified feeling the side effects of the vaccine 10-12 hours after that second shot.

“It’s basically a code that gets your body to begin producing the spike protein. Which then your body starts saying ‘oh this is foreign, I’ve never seen this before I’m going to develop antibodies to it.’ That just takes a little bit of time. That whole manufacturing process to work,” mentioned Dr. Wachter.

What’s the distinction between a traditional response to the vaccine and a response that try to be involved about? Dr. Wachter says it is all concerning the timing. A foul response or an allergic occurs within the first 15-20 minutes of getting vaccinated.

“Those occur in about 1 in 250,000 people and they are easily treated,” mentioned Dr. Wachter.

Dr. Wachter recommends to go in hydrated into your vaccination appointment and to not take any anti-inflammatory medication earlier than your shot. Only afterwards in case you want it.

“Like Advil or Aleve which are anti-inflammatory medicine. So the idea of taking a medicine to decrease your body’s inflammatory system when you actually want your body’s inflammatory system to react to the vaccine that is a little dicey. In general the recommendation is not to take any of those medicines before the shot.”

Even after two to a few days of uneasiness, many who’ve gotten the second Pfizer or Moderna shot agree on one factor.

“Small, small price to pay compared to actually getting COVID. I would just encourage everybody to seek out getting vaccinated,” mentioned Anz.

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