9 Covid-19 Booster Side Effects to Expect

As the Covid-19 pandemic rages on and the Omicron variant continues to spread like wildfire, it’s no surprise that there’s still a ton of confusion around the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, especially regarding vaccines and boosters. Since a majority of people started vaxxing almost a year ago at this point, along with the premature presence of the new Omicron variant, the CDC now recommends a booster shot for anyone who has been vaccinated within the past five months or more with the Pfizer or Moderna series, as well as those who have received the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine within the past two months.

“Vaccines work incredibly well to protect against serious diseases; the proof is in the hospital data,” says Sunaina Suhag, MD, family physician at the Austin Regional Clinic in Austin, Texas. “Overall, most people who have to go to hospital with severe Covid symptoms are not vaccinated. This means that vaccines do what we want them to do: keep people from going to the hospital. »

However, the CDC barely started recommending booster shots for everyone before its message seemingly got lost in the chaos surrounding rapidly rising cases and hospitalizations across the country. So if you have questions about the recall, like if you’re eligible, if you can mix and match between manufacturers, and if you should be worried about side effects, well, we’ve got answers for them all.

First of all, what is a booster shot?

A Covid booster shot is an extra dose of the vaccine, which is intended to be given after the original protection of the Covid vaccine has weakened so that it can help you maintain sufficient immunity.

“The rationale for a recall is that there is evidence that the effectiveness of the vaccine begins to fadesays Dr. Suhag. “A booster helps maintain immunity to fight severe symptoms. Some studies have shown a decline in immunity around five to six months after a series of vaccines is completed, and these data have been evaluated by the FDA when they boosters recommended for adults and, more recently, children over 12 years old.

The formulation of the booster shots is the same as the current Covid-19 vaccines, although the Moderna booster is actually half the dose of the vaccine administered in the initial series. As such, if you are still unvaccinated, you should start with the primary series. If you are 18 or older and have received the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the CDC says it’s safe to receive boosters from any of the three manufacturers. Teenagers aged 12 to 17 who have received the Pfizer vaccine should receive a booster of the same brand.

What are the most common booster side effects?

According to Dr. Suhag, the side effects of the booster are likely to be similar to what you may have experienced when you received a Moderna, Pfizer or J&J vaccine. This may mean that you end up feeling nothing at all, or you may experience a reaction with symptoms such as:

  • Injection site pain
  • Fever
  • Tired
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

    “I recommend planning your day (and the next day) assuming you won’t feel 100% for at least 24 hours,” says Dr. Suhag.

    Why do some people get side effects and others don’t?

    Have you felt completely wiped out after receiving one or more of your doses, while your partner felt as good as ever? It was actually a common scenario for a lot of people. The good news is that it doesn’t mean you’ll fare better or worse than someone else if you get a breakthrough infection.

    “Some people get side effects and some don’t – that’s because each of our immune systems is unique,” says Dr. Suhag. “Our symptomatic response to a vaccine can be affected by our age, gender or medical history. Rest assured that your body will develop the immunity you want, whether or not you feel any aches after your shot.

    The bottom line: Just like with the original vaccine, there’s a good chance you’ll feel unwell within 24 hours of getting your booster shot. It’s a small price to pay compared to possible hospitalization with a severe case of Covid. So if you haven’t received your initial or booster doses yet, go ahead and schedule them today.

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