COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – As the COVID-19 vaccine opens up to more Ohioans, some are raising concerns about what happens after they receive the shot.
In clinical trials, about half of the participants experienced side effects, most commonly headaches, fever and fatigue. Experts say the effects can be a natural immune response and show the vaccine is working.
But just because you don’t experience side effects, doesn’t mean you will be less immune to the virus.
“Whether somebody had side effects right away or not, it doesn’t matter because it’s only the initial part,” explained family physician Dr. Anup Kandodia.
The initial response is its innate immunity, which teaches the body to recognize the virus. The second distinct response, known as the adaptive immunity, is what gives your body the tools to fight off the virus.
“The immune system is already revved up — both part one and part two of the immune system. It’s looking for something to attack and fight off,” Dr. Kanodia said.
He explained the effects depend on the person. Studies show younger patients may experience more noticeable side effects because they have more robust immune systems, and therefore a stronger response. Things like fatigue, stress and inflammation can all contribute to a person’s reaction.
Regardless of a patient’s side effects, or lack thereof, studies showed an equal immunity developed.
“People with side effects or without side effects, they had an equal amount of efficacy,” said Dr. Kanodia.
The adaptive immunity develops over the course of several weeks, which is why experts say it takes two weeks after your final dose to achieve the vaccine’s full effects.
You can read more information about vaccine side effects and how to prepare for receiving the vaccine by clicking here.