What you need to know before getting your second coronavirus shot

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

As more Missourians are getting their coronavirus shots, many are experiencing side effects, especially after their second shots.

The Pfizer vaccine requires two shots taken 21 days apart and the Moderna vaccine requires shots taken 28 days apart, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both of these vaccines are classified as mRNA vaccines which teach cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response.

The Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for anyone at least 16 years old and the Moderna vaccine is approved for individuals at least 18 years old.

Side effects

People can experience a range of side effects after receiving their vaccine including more severe side effects after their second dose. It is also being reported younger individuals and women tend to see more side effects from the vaccine.

According to the CDC, individuals can experience common side effects including:

  • Pain at the injection site
  • Redness at the injection site
  • Swelling at the injection site
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

The CDC also reports some people have experience a rash known as “COVID arm” after getting the coronavirus shot. This rash can pop up a few days to more than a week after the shot. This is also be known as “Moderna arm” which is a commonly reported side effect for individuals who receive the Moderna vaccine.

The side effects come from the body’s immune response, as opposed to an actual illness.

To cope with some of the side effects of the vaccine, the CDC recommends putting a cool cloth on the site of injection and exercising the arm to reduce pain and discomfort from the shot. It is also recommended to dress “lightly” and drink plenty of fluids to reduce any discomfort from a fever after the shot.

The CDC states it is not recommended to take medication including ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin or antihistamines before getting your vaccine to prevent side effects.

When you should not get your second dose of the vaccine

It is recommended to consult with your physician before making a final decision about not getting a second dose of the vaccine.

The CDC recommends if you have a severe reaction to your first coronavirus vaccine shot including anaphylaxis, you should not get a second dose of the vaccine.

The CDC also states if you had an immediate allergic reaction after getting your first dose of the vaccine including hives, swelling and respiratory distress, you should not get the second dose. An immediate reaction is classified as having a reaction within four hours of being vaccinated.

Vaccines available

Individuals interested in getting vaccinated are able to attend the Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services and Missouri National Guard vaccination event at the Columbia Mall on Monday and Tuesday.

The event is being held from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 1,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be given out each day.

Appointments are encouraged and can be made on the state navigator site but walk-ins for the clinic are welcome.

So far more than one-third of the Missouri residents have started vaccination with 3,410,665 coronavirus vaccines being given out within the state according to the state dashboard.

Boone County is the most-vaccinated jurisdiction within the state 42.2% of residents receiving at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.



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