Feeling ill after second COVID-19 vaccine dose is "more common" than first

Moderna and Pfizer clinical trials recorded mild to moderate reactions after second shot
Posted at 6:34 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 19:34:38-05

If you feel like friends and loved ones are sharing many stories of flu-like symptoms after getting their second coronavirus vaccine dose, it's probably because more statistically, more patients react to the second dose than the first.

"It is important that everybody who is vaccinated understands that these symptoms are an expected part of immunization," Program Director of Wisconsin DHS' Immunization Program Stephanie Schauer said. "It shows that the body is responding."

Kari Pritzl is an in-home caregiver that recently received her second Pfizer-BioNTech dose. She could barely move her arm the following day.

"I felt like I could barely move it because it was so sore from the shot, so I ended up taking Tylenol whenever I needed it," Pritzl said.

The CDC approves using over the counter pain relief medications like ibuprofen to treat common symptoms like swelling or soreness. They also consider fever, chills, fatigue and headaches as common reactions to both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

If these symptoms persist for more than a few days or you are worried, the CDC recommends calling your doctor.