What To Take After Second Covid Shot

- Advertisement -

How Long Does It Take To Have Immunity After The Second Vaccine Dose

What side effects to watch out for after second shot of COVID vaccine

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines work by introducing your immune system to a part of the new coronavirus called the spike protein. This protein is found on the viral surface. Its used to help the virus bind to and enter host cells in your body.

Because your immune system has a memory, it can use the vaccine to analyze and store information about the spike protein. It can then draw upon this information to protect you if youre exposed to the actual virus in the future.

However, immunity doesnt happen immediately after vaccination. In fact, it typically takes about 2 weeks for your body to build up immunity. Because of this, you can still become ill during this time frame.

Now that weve discussed how long it generally takes to have immunity, lets take a look at the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines in the weeks after the second dose.


The Pfizer-BioNTech clinical trial evaluated vaccine effectiveness 1 week after participants had gotten their second dose. Researchers found that the vaccine was 95 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 at this point.


The Moderna clinical trial looked at vaccine effectiveness 2 weeks after participants had received their second dose. At this point, the vaccine was found to be 94.1 percent effective at preventing COVID-19.

The time period between the two doses depends on which of the two vaccines you get:

Keep Following Cdc Guidelines

Many newly vaccinated people feel a strong urge to chuck their mask once and for all. If it could, the CDC would post a “Not so fast!” message on its website in response.

It continues to urge people to wear masks in:

  • Indoor public places
  • Crowded outdoor places

Plus, “wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and train stations.”

Many people continue to protest these guidelines. They suggest that being vaccinated should make them invincible to COVIDas well as to the Delta and Omicron variants.

Cleveland Clinic points out that masks are necessary because:

  • It takes time for a vaccination to kick in.
  • While effective, a vaccine does not provide 100% protection.
  • Even vaccinated people may be asymptomatic carriers.
  • It’s important to protect people who cannot be vaccinated or whose immune systems are compromised.
  • Many people have not received a booster, and their level of protection has probably fallen.

Is It Still Possible To Get Covid

The COVID-19 vaccines are among the most effective vaccines in history. They are as effective if not more than vaccines for polio, chicken pox, measles and the flu.

The chances of getting sick after vaccination are minimal. Studies show even if you develop COVID-19 after being vaccinated, you are unlikely to get severely ill. Flu vaccines are less effective than the COVID vaccines, but they can protect you from more severe flu illness and hospitalization. The COVID-19 vaccines are even more powerful.

Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines »

Read Also: Cvs Nasal Swab Test

Dont Take Pain Relievers

Experts agree that you should not take over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol or ibuprofen right before you get your COVID shot. These medications could decrease the vaccine’s effectiveness.

Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory drug which thwarts the vaccines effort to train the immune system to react to a virus by increasing inflammation.

When people have side effects after the shot it’s because the immune system is learning to make antibodies specific to the virus or viral features.

You don’t want to slow down or stunt that process by taking something like ibuprofen beforehand, Boling said.

Screening Questions To Review Prior To Your Vaccination

Heres what to expect after getting the COVID

You WILL NOT be able to receive the second dose if you:

  • Have a known history of a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine or any components of the vaccine.
  • Have a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or any of its components
  • Have an immediate allergic reaction of any severity to a previous dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or any of its components
  • Have an immediate allergic reaction of any severity to polysorbate

See vaccine component resources:

  • Are under the age of 16 years when getting the Pfizer vaccine or under the age of 18 when getting the Moderna vaccine.
  • Received any vaccinations of any kind in the last 14 days prior to getting the vaccine.

Consult with your provider prior to receiving your second dose if you answer yes to any of the questions below:


Be prepared to remain in the vaccination area for at least 15 minutes following your vaccination. This additional time if for your safety and allows the vaccine team to monitor you in the event of a reaction. If you have a history of anaphylaxis to a vaccine or other injectable medication in the past, you will be asked to remain for 30 minutes. Review the caregiver post-vaccination process.

You May Like: Cvs Covid Test Cost Without Insurance

Before You Continue To Google Search

  • Deliver and maintain services, like tracking outages and protecting against spam, fraud and abuse
  • Measure audience engagement and site statistics to understand how our services are used
  • Improve the quality of our services and develop new ones
  • Deliver and measure the effectiveness of ads
  • Show personalised content, depending on your settings
  • Show personalised or generic ads, depending on your settings, on Google and across the web

An Editor Shares Her Own Second

What it feels like to get punched by the second dose

The second dose is worse than the first. That’s what I’d been reading about the second shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. Yet, none of my friends or colleagues who’d had both rounds had found this to be true, so I was expecting my own second shot of the Moderna vaccine to cause me no more trouble than the first a sore arm and slight fatigue.

My immune system had other ideas. The second dose delivered a punch that knocked me out.

As a resident of the District of Columbia, I was qualified for vaccination in mid-January when the district widened eligibility to people 65 and older. I had a smooth first appointment from sign-up to post-injection and the second appointment, set for 12:30 p.m. on a chilly February day, was going just as well.

The prick of the needle was so light I barely felt it. That’s it? I asked the pharmacist.

“That’s it, she said.

I rolled down my sleeve, waited 15 minutes, as instructed, for any potential adverse reaction, and drove home with a clear plastic Band-Aid on my upper left arm.

About 10 hours after the jab, I climbed into bed and trailed off to an easy sleep until 3 a.m. when I awakened sweaty, shaky, with a headache, nausea and an arm so sore I couldn’t lift it.

It had been a long time since I’d been felled by illness, so this took me off guard. But I am grateful that the vaccine showed me its strength. That’s how I look at it now.

More on Vaccines

You May Like: How Much Is Rapid Testing At Cvs

Registering Your Vaccination If You Got It Out Of The Province

If you received a COVID-19covid 19 vaccine outside of Ontario or Canada, you can register your vaccination by contacting your local public health unit .

You must provide proof, such as an immunization record or a proof of vaccination certificate to your PHU to be registered in the system.

If needed, you can book your second dose through:

  • the provincial booking system or calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre
  • your primary care setting
  • public health units that use their own booking system

If you received both doses of a Health Canada authorized vaccine, you only have to provide proof of vaccination to your PHU. No other action is needed. If you received one or two doses of a COVID-19covid 19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada, please contact your public health unit to see if you need any additional doses.

For more information, read the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Guidance for Individuals Vaccinated Outside of Ontario/Canada.

/13when Should You Alert A Vaccination Provider

Many report side effects after second COVID-19 vaccine dose

Doctors and health bodies recommend vaccination for everyone right now facing critical danger from COVID. However, alerting your vaccinator about your condition beforehand can help them better deal with any reactions or side-effects which may happen.

Get the vaccine when you can. As a rule, inform your vaccinator if you suffer from any of these conditions:

-Have any allergies.

Also Check: How Long Does The Cvs Rapid Test Take

Why You Should Register Your Vaccination

If you get a COVID-19covid 19 vaccine outside of Ontario or Canada, you should register it so you can:

  • book a second or additional dose in Ontario
  • be contacted if there is any clinical guidance about the vaccine you got
  • obtain an enhanced vaccination certificate that may be required by certain settings or for travel purpoes
  • easily access a copy or your vaccine certificate if you lose your original receipts

What This Means For You

  • Medical experts agree that you should get vaccinated against COVID-19 when its your turn to do so. Dont hold off and wait for a specific vaccine. All FDA-approved vaccines can help prevent severe COVID infection and death, so get whichever one is available to you.
  • To make sure everything goes smoothly, there are several steps that you can take on the day of your vaccine appointment.
  • If you have mild discomfort after your shot, it’s OK to take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Just do not take one before your appointment.
  • Remember that you still need to take precautions like mask-wearing and social distancing. You are not fully protected immediately after you get your vaccine. In fact, “regardless of which vaccine you get, you wont reach full protection until two weeks after your second or final dose.”

Read Also: How Much Is Pcr Test At Cvs

After Getting Your Second Shot

You may experience side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. These are normal signs that your body is building protection. Get helpful tips on how to reduce any pain or discomfort.

Cases of myocarditis and pericarditis in adolescents and young adults have been reported more often after getting the second dose than after the first dose of one of the two mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna. These reports are rare and the known and potential benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks, including the possible risk of myocarditis or pericarditis.

Usev-safe on your smartphone to tell CDC about any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. If you enter your second shot in your v-safe account, the system will send you daily health check-ins. Please note that v-safe is not automatically notified when you receive a second shot of vaccine, so you must enter the information yourself.

The Coronavirus Pandemic: Key Things To Know

UK Government shocking report on COVID

Staying safe.Worried about spreading Covid? Keep yourself and others safe by following some basic guidance on when to test and how to use at-home virus tests . Here is what to do if you test positive for the coronavirus.

During the Moderna trial, about 26 percent of people took acetaminophen to relieve side effects, and the overall efficacy of the vaccine still was 94 percent.

Also Check: Cvs Rapid Testing Cost

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 Will I Know When Its Time For My Second Covid

The ideal time frame between the first and second Pfizer vaccines is 21 days. For the Moderna vaccines, its 28 days.

Its very important to check with your vaccine site or local health department about scheduling your second vaccine, because different sites are handling scheduling differently. Some places are automatically scheduling patients for their second vaccine when they sign up for the first vaccine. Some places require you to schedule for yourself online. Other sites are giving patients a follow-up appointment when they get the first vaccine.

Being proactive will help ensure that you complete your vaccine series.

Also Check: How Much Is The Pcr Test At Cvs

Is It Safe To Take Tylenol Or Ibuprofen Before Or After The Covid Vaccine

Can I take painkillers before or after a COVID-19 vaccine?

It’s best to avoid them, unless you routinely take them for a medical condition. Although the evidence is limited, some painkillers might interfere with the very thing the vaccine is trying to do: generate a strong immune system response.

Vaccines work by tricking the body into thinking it has a virus and mounting a defense against it. That may cause arm soreness, fever, headache, muscle aches or other temporary symptoms of inflammation that can be part of that reaction.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

These symptoms mean your immune system is revving up and the vaccine is working, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a recent news briefing.

Certain painkillers that target inflammation, including ibuprofen might curb the immune response. A study on mice in the Journal of Virology found these drugs might lower production of antibodies helpful substances that block the virus from infecting cells.

What Is A Covid

What to Expect After Second COVID-19 Vaccine Shot

A COVID booster shot is an additional dose of a vaccine given after the protection provided by the original shot has begun to decrease over time. Typically, you would get a booster after the immunity from the initial dose naturally starts to wane. The booster is designed to help people maintain their level of immunity for longer.

Recommended Reading: How Much Does A Rapid Test Cost At Cvs

Minimizing The Side Effects Maximizing The Efficacy Of The Covid

The mere thought of being one of the unlucky ones and being under the weather for a day or two may be off-putting. But putting off the vaccine when its available to you is not the solution. Preparing for it is.

A Recap of the Side Effects

Its been said, repeated and published countless times before, but here it is again: Experiencing any of the common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine is a good thing! Those common side effects include:

  • Injection site pain, redness and/or swelling
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Swollen lymph nodes

These side effects which may appear within a week of getting vaccinated and usually last between 24 and 48 hours signify an appropriate immune system response, or signs that your body is building immunity.

That said, experiencing little to no side effects doesnt indicate that the vaccine was less effective for you or that your immune response was inadequate. It also doesnt infer that you were previously infected with COVID-19.

While most people have reported more side effects after the second dose of the mRNA vaccines , and while many have reported similar side effects after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, everyone is unique. And everyones response to the vaccine will be, too. There is no data that suggests age, build, gender, race or previous COVID-19 infection have any bearing on how intense a persons side effects will be. So, generally speaking, there is no way of knowing how the vaccine might affect you.

Maximizing Immunity

Dont Post Your Vaccination Card Online

You may be tempted to share your relief about getting a vaccine. But be careful about what you post online. The Federal Trade Commission cautions against posting your vaccination card on social media, where it can be stolen.

I would not recommend posting their vaccination card online,” Déry said. “That’s because theres some identifiable information like your name, your birthday, and your gender. And could be potentially used for ID theft.

While posting your birthday may seem harmless, the FTC cautions against underestimating identity thieves. They use any information they can to guess digits from a Social Security number, open accounts, and claim tax refunds.

Don’t Miss: Cvs Testing Price

S To Prepare For Your Covid

You might be wondering what to expect for your COVID-19 vaccine appointment. In many ways, the COVID-19 vaccines are just like other vaccines youve seen before. The University Health Center recommends following these seven steps to prepare for your upcoming vaccination.

1. Accept the earliest appointment available

Appointments can be limited, so it is in your best interest to schedule the soonest appointment that works for you. Remember though, you could have some mild side effects in the 24 hours that follow. Try not to schedule your appointment before an important exam or significant commitment.

2. Dont get other vaccines at the same time

Before you get the COVID-19 vaccine, avoid getting any other vaccines for 14 days. Once youve had your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, wait 14 days to get any other vaccines. Its more important to get the COVID-19 vaccine when its available. So adjust the timing of your other vaccines to make sure you get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.

3. Have pain relievers on hand

Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help if you develop side effects like fever, pain or headaches. Side effects are normal and mean your immune system is responding to the vaccine. Most people experience more side effects after the second dose. Do not take pain relievers before vaccination to try to prevent vaccine-related side effects.

4. Grab groceries ahead of time

5. Be ready to roll

6. Fuel up

7. Plan to take it easy

Hot Topics

Related Articles