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Why some experience side effects after their second vaccine shot and others do not

As more valley residents get their second Pfizer or Moderna shot, people are starting to compare notes about their side effects. 

Spirits were high for those getting vaccinated at the Palm Springs Convention Center Monday afternoon.  

“I am honestly I feel more energized," said Angel Moreno.

Moreno got his second Pfizer shot. But he’s a bit worried about those possible side effects. 

“My mom she didn’t feel anything when she got her second shot and then my dad who did feel something," said Moreno. "What am I going to get? I don’t know.” 

Desert Regional Medical Center's pharmacist, Dr. Timothy Tyler said it's unclear if side effects like muscle aches or chills are signs that your body is having an immune response.  

“If a patient has a response and they don't feel good for a day and a half, and they've got some side effects, does that mean they're having a great immune response? and when they get  the vaccine, they'll never get sick," said Dr. Tyler. "I can't tell you that. The one thing I will say is all of the patients are individuals.” 

Dani Romero: "what if you have no side effects, is that a bad sign?"

“It doesn't mean that it was a dud. you didn't get it dud," said Dr. Tyler. "But at this point it's frustrating because the only way we would know for sure is to test with antibody titers, and that really isn't I don't think that's even commercially available.” 

Now, what’s the difference between a bad reaction and a normal vaccine reaction? Dr. Tyler explained its all about timing. A bad or an allergic reaction happens between the first 15 minutes of getting vaccinated.  

“We rarely if ever saw anything in that window," said Dr. Tyler. "It was better safe than sorry.” 

Dani Romero: "Why are women and younger people having more side effects than those who are older?"

“When you're young and healthy and you've got this robust response," said Dr. Tyler. "It's not surprising that you might have side effects that would be a little more pronounced. Fortunately, they're not serious enough, usually that it even requires follow-up with the physician.” 

Dr. Tyler recommends patients to stay hydrated before getting their second COVID shot and to have Tylenol on hand in case you’re feeling a little achy the next day. 

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Dani Romero


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