CDC Gives Nod To Pfizer Boosters For 12- to 15-Year-Olds Amid Omicron Surge
January 6, 2022
November 25, 2021
If you’re thinking about getting a Covid booster shot, you’re probably wondering about its side effects.
Don’t worry: Compared with your last dose, your booster shot should be a much smoother experience, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“People had fewer reactions after their third dose than after their second dose,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a White House briefing Tuesday. Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and CDC gave all adults the green light to get a booster shot six months after their second dose of an mRNA vaccine, or two months after getting Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine.
If you felt side effects from your last vaccine dose, you’ll likely feel similar ones after your booster — but in less severe ways. The CDC describes typical Covid booster side effects as “mild to moderate,” compared to the “intense” ones that often follow a second dose.
That’s largely because your first and second doses have already established a virus-fighting blueprint for your immune system. A booster essentially gives your body more practice at mounting a defence against Covid.
Moderna and J&J’s boosters are just smaller doses of their original formulations, which could also lessen your side effects. Pfizer’s booster is the same dosage as its first two shots.
The most common side effects for all three boosters should sound familiar: pain and swelling at the injection site, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, fever, plus chills and nausea. Less common side effects include nausea and swollen or sore lymph nodes. They all typically dissipate within two to three days, at the most.
You might want to clear your schedule in the days following your booster shot, just in case — but most discomfort is a sign that the vaccine is working as intended, helping your immune system mount protection against the virus.
Here are some home remedies and strategies that may help alleviate the symptoms from your booster:
The CDC notes that if any “redness or tenderness” near your injection site gets worse after 24 hours, or if your side effects don’t seem to be dissipating after a few days, you should contact a doctor or healthcare provider.
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