San Francisco, CA

Side effects of COVID-19 Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines, UCSF weighs in

Ed Walsh
San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center vaccination siteEd Walsh

The San Francisco Bay Area has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country. City officials in San Francisco say at least 60 percent of adults have had at least the first vaccine shot. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two shots but the Johnson and Johnson vaccine requires just one.

Many who have had the vaccines have experienced side effects, especially following the second Moderna or Pfizer shot. One of the nation's most respected research hospitals, University of California San Francisco, is weighing in on the side effects you can expect from the vaccines.

"The most common side effect is pain in the arm where you get the shot," UCSF officials stated. "Some people also have one or more of these symptoms: tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever. Another side effect is swollen lymph nodes in the neck or under the arm where the shot was given. These are all signs of the body’s immune system working! More people had these side effects after the second dose than after the first dose.

"A very small number of the many people vaccinated have had severe allergic reactions. After you get your vaccine, you’ll be asked to stay where you got your shot for about 15 minutes to monitor for an allergic reaction. People who have had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of the vaccine, or who have had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of the vaccine they are offered, should not get the vaccine. Talk to your health care provider if you have had a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines. Your health care provider can help you decide if it is safe for you to receive the COVID-19 vaccine."

If you have experienced side effects, please leave your comments below to share with others who may have also had similar experiences.

UCSF also cautioned that to be fully vaccinated, you must wait at least 14 days following the second shot in the case of Pfizer and Moderna, or the one shot with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

"It takes time to build immunity in response to the vaccines," UCSF explained. "The CDC considers people “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19 when at least 2 weeks have passed since their final dose. For the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines this is two weeks after the second dose, and for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this is two weeks following the single dose. "

Many who have already gotten and cleared COVID-19 have said they will not get the vaccine because of natural immunity. Some researchers have also suggested that natural immunity may be better than the immunity one would get from the vaccine. UCSF is advising even those who have had COVID to also get the vaccine.

"People who have had COVID-19 may have some immunity against the coronavirus, but this immunity can be weak and may not last long," UCSSF stated. "Most people develop more antibodies to the coronavirus after they are fully vaccinated than after getting COVID-19. The vaccine gives your body stronger protection against getting COVID-19 again.  People with COVID-19 should wait until they are no longer infected and have fully recovered before getting the vaccine."

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