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My COVID-19 Vaccine Experience

My second COVID-19 vaccine was quite a different experience from the first vaccine.

As a refresher, I took the 1st COVID-19 vaccine on January fourth and had a positive experience, just some arm pain. This vaccine was scheduled on the same day as a snowstorm.

I am grateful for the quick thinking of the county because I had my vaccine a day earlier to avoid the storm. Like you, I did tons of research on the COVID-19 vaccines and was skeptical of the second vaccine's side effects.

I decided to share my experience and the research I have done to prepare me for the second vaccine experience. I hope this information will help you make an informed decision.

1. Stay hydrated before the vaccine, and do not premedicate with Ibuprofen or Tylenol!

I was apprehensive about taking the second vaccine. Many of my colleagues had a fever and chills for a few days after the second vaccine. So, I was preparing myself mentally and physically for this vaccine. I was well hydrated before the second vaccine and did not pre-medicate.

According to research, pre-medicating with ibuprofen or Tylenol before the second vaccine may decrease its efficacy. This is not the case for people who regularly take ibuprofen and Tylenol. Just do not take it before the vaccine to reduce the side effects. I wore layers of clothing to the vaccination site, so I could take a layer off if I felt hot. I also brought Tylenol with me just in case. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is normal to have a fever, body aches, and chills with the second vaccine. I think hydrating helped me a lot. I did not have side effects until about midnight when I felt feverish and had some arm pain. I took Tylenol, and those symptoms went away.

2. Take the vaccine available to you and research it.

I took the Moderna vaccine because my county in the United States had to offer essential workers. This is the same vaccine I took last month, so I was pleased to get the same vaccine again. Even though I hear no research states you need to take the same vaccine brand for both doses.

According to the CDC, the Moderna vaccine is 94% effective at preventing COVID-19 after receiving two doses of the vaccine one month apart (28 days). The Moderna vaccine contains no live virus in it and cannot give me COVID-19. This is true about the other COVID-19 vaccines as well.

3. So now that I had the 2nd vaccine, what now?

Research shows the vaccine is safe and effective, and it takes time after receiving the vaccines to build up immunity. Therefore, it could take more than two weeks to build up immunity. Additionally, there are new strains of COVID-19 popping up worldwide that my vaccine might not cover.

I still need to practice social distancing and wear a mask. It is also important to note you will need to wait fourteen days after the vaccines to get any other vaccines such as influenza and Pneumovax. I am grateful I had my influenza vaccine already. But for other people still waiting to get the COVID-19 vaccine, this information is important to know. I am prepared to take another vaccine if needed as research on the vaccine continues to develop.

4. Who should not get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The studies have not changed if you have any allergies that give you an anaphylactic reaction. You should not take the vaccine. Consult with your primary care provider before taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

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