WARNING: second dose of COVID-19 vaccine side effects can be severe

Updated: Feb. 5, 2021 at 6:11 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - After receiving the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, many are reporting side effects that were more severe than after the first dose.

“I kept hearing, well, the second shot is gonna be a little tougher,” said RN Mario Becerra. “I said, oh really well, what does that mean”?

Becerra works in a local hospital and just received his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and less than 24 hours later, Mario was hit with a whirlwind of side effects.

“I had some chills last night, a headache, the injection sight hurt like a bear,” said Becerra. “I’m not kidding if you’ve ever had a tetanus shot; it was similar to that it was really, really sore.”

University Hospitals, Director of Infection Control, Claudia Hoyen tells me what Becerra experienced is very common.

“Those are caused by your immune system and some of the chemicals that get released when you’re trying to quote on quote fight something off,” said Hoyen.

If you or your loved ones are feeling crummy after getting your second shot, or even after your first, don’t panic. It’s just your body’s way of creating immunity; It’s the one time where feeling bad is technically a good thing.

“When I woke up and could feel some chills, I was like, okay, it’s working,” said Becerra. “I’m not getting hit as hard; it’s doing what it has to do, that’s good.”

Health professionals say getting side effects, in this case, is similar to when you get the flu shot.

Here are the side effects people have reported by the FDA.

Side effects people have reported after getting the COVID-19 vaccines
Side effects people have reported after getting the COVID-19 vaccines(FDA)

“As people probably go back in the next couple of months to look at the side effects from these constitutional symptoms, it may be higher than what we’ve seen with the flue vaccine,” said Hoyen.

As you’re preparing to get the vaccine or still deciding if you should, know doctors say these particular side effects are a good thing, it means the vaccine is working.

“It’s a little uncomfortable for a day or two,” said Hoyen. “I think people should put it into perspective; perhaps you were to get COVID, things could be much worse.”

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