Side effects and what to expect after 2nd dose of COVID vaccine

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — By now, many people have gotten their second COVID-19 vaccine, and those far down the list are hearing stories about what the shot is like.

Sherrill Quinn received her second dose on Feb. 12. She said she felt fine the first 12 hours afterwards.

“About 3:00 in the morning, 12 hours later, I woke up and my arm was aching, my body was aching, I had a low grade temperature, 99-100.1. It fluctuated, and had the chills,” Quinn said.

She said she woke up again at 6 a.m. and didn’t feel any better.

“It really wiped me out for the whole day. About 6:00 that evening I was like, ‘okay I’m just gonna go to bed,’ and I did not wake up until 6:00 the next morning in a total drench and was like, ‘oh I feel better.'”

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Emil Lesho said experiencing these side effects 12-24 hours after getting the shot is normal.

“Body aches, maybe a headache, sore arm, lack of energy, that should be expected and not everybody gets that even; but you shouldn’t have shortness of breath,” he said.

Dr. Lesho said if you experience respiratory issues, it could mean you have COVID-19 or something else is wrong and you should call your doctor. He said the other side effects are just the vaccine doing its job.

“Your body has some memory of the first dose, of it’s first response, so the second response in a sense is more amplified than the first response,” he said.

Quinn said being prepared is key.

“Don’t be afraid of it, I’m not trying to make it a fearful thing, but I think if you prepare that you’re not gonna feel that well you can do some things to make that next day feel okay,” she said.

Dr. Lesho said he recommends scheduling your vaccine on a day when you won’t have anything to do the following day, like work or drive a long distance, if you can. He also reminds everyone to continue wearing a mask and social distancing even after getting the second dose. He said we’ll have to do this until 70-80% of the population is vaccinated.

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