Is The Moderna Booster Shot A Third Dose
Booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines are currently half doses of the same vaccine used in the first two full shots. The goal is to top up the vaccine formula that reinforces the body’s immune response against the virus and its variants. The Moderna booster authorized by the CDC is a 50-microgram dose, while the first two shots were each 100 micrograms.
Moderna is also working on a combination shot that contains this year’s flu vaccine and its COVID-19 booster vaccine, but that’s not available right now.
Moderna’s booster shot is currently half the size of a full dose.
If You Received A Booster Shot
So far, reactions reported after getting a booster shot were similar to those after the two-dose or single-dose primary series. Fever, headache, fatigue and pain at the injection site were the most commonly reported side effects, and overall, most side effects were mild to moderate. However, as with the two-dose or single-dose primary series, serious side effects are rare, but may occur.
How Well The Vaccine Works
- Based on evidence from clinical trials in people ages 16 years and older, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 95% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 in people who received two doses and had no evidence of being previously infected.
- In clinical trials, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had > 90% efficacy in preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection in children ages 515 years, and the immune response in children ages 515 years was at least as strong as the immune response in people ages 1625 years.
- In clinical trials, the vaccine also had > 90% efficacy in preventing COVID-19 among people of diverse age, sex, race, and ethnicity categories and among people with underlying medical conditions.
- Evidence shows mRNA COVID-19 vaccines offer similar protection in real-world conditions as they have in clinical trial settingsreducing the risk of COVID-19, including severe illness, by 90% or more among people who are fully vaccinated.
- CDC will continue to provide updates as we learn more.
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Should I Get An Antibody Test After The Vaccine To Make Sure Its Working
Antibody testing is not currently recommended check someones immunity to COVID-19 following either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. The COVID-19 antibody test used at MSK detects the immune response after being infected by COVID-19. It does not measure immunity that results from the vaccine. Thats why it should not be routinely ordered to assess vaccine response.
What Can We Do In The Meantime
Its critical that as many people as possible get their primary vaccination shots, Dr. Meyer says. In December 2021, the CDC endorsed a recommendation to choose the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, in response to concerns over rare blood clots associated with Johnson & Johnsons shot.
The good news is that Pfizer and Moderna made their mRNA vaccines easy to update, Dr. Meyer says. It just has to be tweaked a little bit, like having a computer code that needs a couple of minor edits. Its relatively easy to build. Its also important to follow the CDCs recommendations on booster shots.
The hope is that the case rate will go down and more people will be less likely to be exposed. That advice is especially important with the Delta and Omicron variants, which have proven to be more contagious than previous variants, prompting the CDC to issue stricter guidelines calling for everyonevaccinated or notto wear masks indoors in areas of high transmission.
Even if Delta and Omicron go away, I think those preventive measures will become even more important as the year passes, because potentially your immunity is going to wane over time, Dr. Meyer says.
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Help Identify And Minimize Mild Side Effects
Read the vaccine information that came with your scheduling invite to refresh your knowledge about side effects. It can also be accessed here.
- Use an ice pack or cool, damp cloth to help reduce redness, soreness and/or swelling at the place where the shot was given.
- A cool bath can also be soothing.
- Drink liquids often for 1-2 days after getting the vaccine.
- Take an over the counter pain reliever unless you have any specific contraindication.
For symptoms that are severe or last 72 hours or more contact your regular clinician or Primary Care Provider.
How Do I Know Which Pharmacies Have Moderna Appointments
Boosters are available at roughly 80,000 places across the country, including over 40,000 local pharmacies. Some 90% of Americans have a vaccine site within 5 miles of where they live.
A terrific free service in conjunction with the CDC sends you information when you text your ZIP code to this number: 438829. The response will show you COVID-19 vaccine locations in your area, along with the brand they carry for certain age groups, for instance, Moderna 18+. This can save you the trial and error of calling around, or showing up to your appointment to find that your booster of choice isn’t available. The text can also give you a shortcut to make your appointment right from your phone screen.
You can also check Vaccines.gov to see which vaccines are available where, and call 800-232-0233 for vaccine information.
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Why Do Vaccines Cause Side Effects
Side effects like fever, chills and fatigue after a vaccination indicate that your immune system is responding to the vaccine, Duszynski says. “Even if you don’t experience these , it does not mean that your immune system isn’t working it is just working a little more quietly,” he says.
As for bruising, swelling and sensitivity at the injection site, well, your body would likely respond similarly after a needle punctured your skin for any other purpose. These side effects can occur after any vaccine, as well as when people get blood drawn or receive steroid shots or vitamin injections.
Is It Safe To Mix And Match Vaccine And Booster Brands
Yes. The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized mixing COVID-19 boosters, which in the US means Moderna and Pfizer. Any adult eligible for a booster can get any of the available brands of coronavirus vaccines. If you initially received Johnson & Johnson and it’s been two months or longer since you received the initial dose, you’ll be able to get the Moderna or Pfizer booster. If you received Moderna or Pfizer for your first two shots, you could pick any authorized vaccine available to you, if you qualify and it’s been six months or longer since your second shot.
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Continuing Public Health Measures
You should still follow safe practices for going out safely during COVID-19. Vaccination status is a consideration in making informed choices.
When enough people are vaccinated against COVID-19 and cases are down, it will be safer to lift public health measures that are restrictive.
Learn more about:
Can I Treat The Side Effects
If you have pain or discomfort after receiving your vaccination, talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen .
To reduce pain and discomfort on your arm:
- Apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area.
- Use or exercise your arm.
In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider:
- If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours.
- If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days.
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Could One Type Of Vaccine Last Longer Than Another
No one knows for sure whether one vaccine will last longer than another. Instead, one question to ask might be whether Pfizer and Modernas mRNA vaccines, which had an especially robust response, also have potential to be the longest lasting, Dr. Meyer says.
The two mRNA vaccines use a relatively new technology that delivers a tiny piece of genetic code from the SARS CoV-2 virus into the body to provide instructions for making copies of spike proteins that will stimulate an immune response. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine takes a more traditional approach that involves an inactive adenovirus .
The mRNA vaccines are a novel tool that hasnt been widely rolled out with any other virus, and so far in clinical trials they have had a much more robust immune response, Dr. Meyer says. Whatever the answer to the question of which will last the longest, the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines work similarly, so it seems likely that they will have a similar impact on immunity, she says.
Its also possible that the length of immunity is somewhat dependent on the patient, Dr. Meyer adds. While more research is needed, there could be variations in immune responses from person to person based on such factors as age, medical conditions, and medications they may be taking. Overall, though, the mRNA vaccines appear to be so effective that they level the playing field in terms of achieving protection from infection, says Dr. Meyer.
Side Effects For Each Dose
Not all coronavirus vaccines are the same. Some tend to cause more side effects after the first dose, others cause more side effects after additional doses. The very common side effects are the same and should still only last a day or two.
Even if you do have side effects after the vaccine, NHS Scotland advises you get all recommended doses. The full recommended course will give you the best protection against the virus.
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Reports Of Very Rare Blood Clots
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is carrying out a detailed review of reports of a very rare blood clotting problem affecting a small number of people who have had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
The problem can also happen in people who have not been vaccinated and it’s not yet clear why it affects some people.
The current reported rate of this condition in the UK is around 15 cases per million first doses given.
The coronavirus vaccine can help stop you from getting seriously ill or dying from coronavirus. For people aged 40 or over and those with underlying health conditions, the benefits of being vaccinated outweigh any risk of clotting problems.
For people under 40, it’s currently advised that it’s preferable to have either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna coronavirus vaccine.
If you have already had a first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine without suffering any serious side effects you should complete the course .
This includes people aged 18 to 39 years who are health and social care workers, unpaid carers and those who live with someone with a severely weakened immune system.
Do I Need To Take A Vaccine Booster If I Have Covid Antibodies
There is no data that proves people make the same level of antibodies after COVID infection. Scientists also cant agree on how long antibodies last. Levels of antibodies can drop one month or 11 months after initial infection, meaning that a person can be at risk of reinfection or transmitting COVID to another person.
A booster will also be critical to those who are immunocompromised or vulnerable to the virus because of existing illnesses. Antibodies created through earlier illness are most likely adapted to Delta or Alpha, while Omicron presents an unknown kind of threat.
Anything from diabetes to high blood pressure can create complications in the body if COVID is also present which makes all the difference in severe cases of the virus. Without extra protection, the virus can disarm major organs in vulnerable individuals.
According to the US Food and Drug Administrations analysis, taking the Moderna vaccine is safe for people who have had COVID.
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How Do You Treat Post
To make your post-vaccine nausea more manageable, Dr. Bhuyan suggests treating your body just like you would for any old bout of queasiness. âStay hydrated,â she says. âWhen eating, try to focus on light foods, such as soup or crackers.â Dr. Green says that letting your body rest is another excellent way to care for yourself when youâve got a case of post-vaccine stomachaches.
In the event that your nausea escalates to vomiting, try to keep yourself hydrated to replace lost fluids. If thatâs proving difficult because you canât keep liquid down, try little sips of sports drinks with electrolytes so you can get some nutrients and water in one fell swoop. Your nausea will likely pass soon enough â resting and treating yourself well can help move the process along.
Keep An Eye Out For Signs Of More Severe Issues
In the days and weeks following your COVID-19 booster, there are some rare yet potentially severe side effects that you will want to keep an eye on, Milstone said.
If you or your child develops new chest pain, a change in heart rate or shortness of breath within a week of getting your COVID-19 vaccine or booster, the CDC says you should get in contact with a health care provider. Those can be signs of myocarditis or pericarditis, which are types of heart inflammation that have been seen predominantly in young males after getting the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Also be aware of a delayed reaction to the shot termed “COVID arm.” This skin reaction typically shows up a few days after someone gets the vaccine and presents as an inflamed area near the injection site. The skin might be raised, red, itchy or burning, but COVID arm actually isn’t a sign of anything dangerous or harmful. Experts believe it to be a delayed hypersensitivity reaction that should respond to over-the-counter antihistamines, pain medications and ice packs. COVID arm should resolve on its own within another few days, but if it doesn’t or the symptoms are severe, check in with your doctor or dermatologist.
That said, it’s not clear how common COVID arm is after the booster dose. “I’ve heard a lot of reports of that after the first and second doses,” Milstone said, “but I’ve not heard that as commonly after the booster.”
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When To Call The Doctor
Side effects can affect you or your childs ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.
In most cases, discomfort from pain or fever is a normal sign that the body is building protection. Contact a doctor or healthcare provider:
- If the redness or tenderness where the shot was given gets worse after 24 hours
- If the side effects are worrying or do not seem to be going away after a few days
If you or your child get a COVID-19 vaccine and you think you or they might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate medical care by calling 911. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and rare severe allergic reactions.
Table 4 Systemic Reactions In Persons Aged > 55 Years Pfizer
a Mild: does not interfere with activity moderate: some interference with activity severe: prevents daily activity Grade 4: emergency room visit or hospitalization for severe fatigue, severe headache, severe muscle pain, or severe joint pain.
b Mild: 1 to 2 times in 24 hours moderate: > 2 times in 24 hours severe: requires intravenous hydration Grade 4: emergency room visit or hospitalization for severe vomiting.
c Mild: 2 to 3 loose stools in 24 hours moderate: 4 to 5 loose stools in 24 hours severe: 6 or more loose stools in 24 hours Grade 4: emergency room visit or hospitalization for severe diarrhea.
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Are Some People More Likely To Have Side Effects From The Moderna And Pfizer Vaccine
Your immune systems response to the vaccine will depend on your medical history and the type of vaccine. Several factors can affect how your immune system reacts to a vaccine, including:
The injection site
For example, infants and toddlers are less likely to have reactions at the vaccine injection site but more likely to develop a fever than adults. And in some studies, women were more likely to report side effects to the COVID-19 vaccines than men. Nearly 80% of women reported adverse events versus about 20% of men.
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Side Effects
The most recently approved COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — also known as the Janssen vaccine — only requires one dose as opposed to the two doses required for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
According to the FDA, the most commonly reported side effects of the Janssen vaccine are headaches, nausea, fatigue, muscle aches and injection site soreness. According to clinical trial data, most people experienced these side effects in the one to two days following injection.
There’s one exceedingly rare, but serious side effect associated with J& J: blood clots. US officials temporarily paused J& J in April over this concern, but in part because the side effect is so rare , they determined that the benefits outweigh the risks. The risk of blood clots is highest, though still very rare, in women under 50. Per the CDC, “Women younger than 50 years old especially should be aware of the rare but increased risk of this adverse event, and that there are other COVID-19 vaccine options available for which this risk has not been seen.”
If you experience severe headaches, difficulty breathing, stomach pain, chest discomfort or leg pain within three weeks of the J& J vaccine, call your doctor immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
Hives were also reported in six clinical trial participants, one of whom received a placebo shot. One “hypersensitivity reaction, not classified as anaphylaxis,” was reported and deemed likely related to the vaccine.
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