Side effects are typically worse after 2nd COVID-19 vaccine dose and experts say it’s a sign it’s working

Coronavirus
L.A. firefighter Dion Cooper administers a dose of COVID-19 vaccine to Marilyn Shugars, 71, at a mobile vaccination site at South Park Recreation Center.(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

L.A. firefighter Dion Cooper administers a dose of COVID-19 vaccine to Marilyn Shugars, 71, at a mobile vaccination site at South Park Recreation Center.(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

When it comes to the one-two punch delivered by two-dose COVID-19 vaccines, it’s the second shot that really wallops.

Kristen Choi can attest to that. Choi, a nursing researcher at UCLA, ended up with a host of symptoms, including a fever that peaked at 104.9 degrees, after she got her second shot last year. But the effects soon passed — and they were well worth the much-needed protection against the pandemic, she said.

“I’m very grateful to have gotten the vaccine and to be able to have that protection, and really want to see that opportunity be made available to everyone,” Choi said.

As more Americans line up for the COVID-19 vaccine, some are anxious about the second-dose side effects, which tend to be stronger than the first. But experts say that the symptoms, which range from a sore arm to headaches and nausea, are a sign that the second dose is doing its job: turbo-charging the immune system’s response to the initial dose, and thus providing more vigorous and long-lasting protection against the virus.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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