COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – As the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out, people who have experienced side effects from the second dose are taking to social media to share their experiences.
These posts are raising concerns among doctors and others that people who see or hear about someone else’s side effects will back out of getting the second dose, or the vaccine at all.
The most common side effects are low grade fever, fatigue, sore arm and body aches. Ami Lemoniades, a Labor and Delivery Nurse in Melbourne, Florida, says she experienced intense symptoms, but they only lasted for about 12 hours.
“I got it around 11 O’clock in the afternoon so as the day went on, I felt fine,” said Lemoniades. “Then around 3 am I woke up on Friday morning and that’s when I had body aches, chills, a fever and I started to throw up and had like fatigue I felt really weak, I couldn’t get out of bed.”
T.J. Henderson, Pharmacy Supervisor at Piedmont Columbus Regional, explained that these side effects are completely normal, but they vary from patient to patient and should only last 12 to 72 hours.
“This is something that was expected even when the vaccine was released and so in preparation for it, I recommend patients to take over the counter Tylenol or ibuprofen um the day of receiving that second dose of vaccine,” said Henderson. “Even continuing to medicate for as long as they’re experiencing symptoms thereafter.”
Henderson also explained exactly how these vaccines are working.
“So if you think about the way the vaccine works, it’s intended to ultimately hardwire your immune system, you’re immune memory to generate a more targeted response by your body’s antibodies to any kind of invading foe or foreign pathogen,” said Henderson. “And that second vaccine if you look think of it as a booster vaccine in a way it’s intended to provide the immune system with more advanced training, so your body is continuing to make better antibodies, and in this sense, the second shot is continuing to strengthen that immune system.”
While Lemoniades experienced pretty intense side effects, she said it was a much better alternative than contracting the actual virus and is worried people seeing these post might be deterred from getting the vaccine.
“People are going to see Facebook and Twitter and think “oh my god it’s giving them COVID, it’s making them so sick, I don’t want it” and that’s not the case at all,” said Lemoniades. “So just beware it’s going to give you symptoms it’s going to make you feel sick, but it does not last and it’s way better than getting the real COVID.”
Henderson also added that if you see these posts or have questions about the side effects or the vaccine in general, do your research or have someone you trust help you find trustworthy information before deciding not to get the vaccine.