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What to Expect While Waiting for the Second Dose

Most of the COVID-19 vaccines approved in Europe are given in two doses. What happens between the first and the second puncture?

Hours after receiving the first dose, some of the most common symptoms that may appear, according to the Pfizer vaccine datasheets – BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford – AstraZeneca, are:

Pain and / or swelling in the arm from the injection Headache Muscle pain and stiffness Joint pain Tenth fever Chills Nausea Vomiting Tiredness or general malaise

“All vaccines and medications can cause side effects,” he recalls Cesar Hernandez, Head of the Department of Medicines for Human Use of the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS).

Despite the fact that the covid-19 vaccines can cause some discomfort, almost all the symptoms are mild, in the short term and do not generate any type of sequelae. The vaccines are safe, as proven in the corresponding clinical trials.

Despite the fact that the covid-19 vaccines can cause some discomfort, almost all the symptoms are mild, in the short term and do not generate any type of sequelae

The reason for the temporary adverse effects caused by vaccination is due to the response of the body’s immune system, which begins to generate specific defenses against the most serious forms of the disease. After a day or two, these symptoms should go away.

On the other hand, “serious allergic reactions are very rare,” he stresses. Carmen de Mendoza, professor and researcher in the area of ​​Health Sciences at UNIR and researcher at the Puerta del Hierro University Hospital, in Majadahonda, Madrid. “Exceptionally, there may be anaphylactic reactions after vaccination, a more serious form of allergy or hypersensitivity,” he adds.

If a person develops an adverse effect like this after vaccination, they should contact their health center of reference or notify it directly to the Spanish Pharmacovigilance System of Medicines for Human Use (SEFV-H), which extends the surveillance of vaccines more beyond clinical trials.

More discomfort after the second dose

Side effects tend to be more frequent after the second dose, especially localized pain at the injection site, and their frequency decreases with age, according to the technical specifications of the vaccines and the latest update of the Vaccination Strategy in Spain. .

For example, in the case of the vaccine Pfizer / BioNTech, the most common adverse effects after the second dose were injection site pain (> 80%), fatigue or tired feeling (> 60%), headache (> 50%), myalgia and chills (> 30% ) and fever and swelling at the injection site (> 10%). All were mild and disappeared within a few days after vaccination.

After administering the second dose, the body has already been in contact with the antigen of the virus contained in the vaccine and, therefore, it may react somewhat more markedly than the first time.

After administering the second dose, the organism has already been in contact with the antigen of the virus contained in the vaccine and, therefore, it may react somewhat more markedly than the first time.

“The response generated by the body is a kind of memory of the first. For this reason, greater immunity is also achieved ”, says Hernández about possible side effects.

What if I catch it between doses

A person can become infected with the new coronavirus after having received the first dose of the vaccine, since with a single prick the immune response that is generated only provides partial protection.

“If you become infected a few days after receiving the first dose, the immune system will develop a response, even if it is not completely complete,” Hernández emphasizes. “The degree of protection of the first dose is variable in each person,” adds De Mendoza.

In those positive cases of covid-19 that are confirmed after the first dose:

If you are a person over 65 years of age: wait for the recovery and the end of the isolation period and the second dose will be administered, provided that at least the established period between doses has passed. In the case of a person aged 65 years or less: they will wait 6 months to complete the vaccination schedule with the administration of the second dose.

Rights: Creative Commons.

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