Time & Date
The date is Thursday, February 4, 2021
Joe Feist is the author of this piece
If you had a sore arm and possibly a fever after receiving your second dosage of either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccination, congratulations.
“That’s usually a good sign,” said Fred Campbell, MD, an internal medicine specialist at UT Health San Antonio and an assistant professor of medicine. “In general, a good local reaction is compatible with the body’s defense against that specific vaccine, which is antibody development.”
He soon noted, though, that everyone is different. “Just because you don’t have a hurting arm doesn’t mean the vaccination isn’t working; it just means that if you do, you’re probably getting a good response.”
Minor symptoms can appear immediately after the shot or within a few minutes or hours, and can linger for a day or so, according to Dr. Campbell, “but almost never for more than 36 hours.”.
To relieve pain or soreness at the injection site, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends applying a cool, wet washcloth and exercising the arm. If you have a fever, drink plenty of fluids.
Another issue, according to Dr. Campbell, is the interval between the first and second doses. It is suggested that the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine be given 21 days following the first. It takes 28 days for Moderna.
However, he pointed out that those dates are not set in stone.
“Because of the problems with supply and distribution,” Dr. Campbell said, “it appears now that it’s quite possible that you could receive the vaccine as late as six weeks after [the first dose]. And it’s obvious that having the second dose three or four weeks later provides the same amount of protection
Approximately 14 days following the second dose, the immunizations will be most effective. Even after that, persons who have received the immunizations should wear masks in public and maintain physical distance.
“Despite the fact that these vaccines are incredibly successful, more than 90% effective, nothing in medicine is 100%, except ‘do no harm,’ which means continuing to wear the mask until public health specialists inform us that we have reached herd immunity and no longer need to be concerned about major viral transmission.”