Doctors are reassuring patients who have experienced side effects after receiving either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.By Dr. Maria Simbra

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Side effects after the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine are not uncommon and can be worse.

When they got their vaccines, these gentlemen were warned.

“After my first dose, my arm was sore for about three days. And then after my second dose, I had like fever, chills, a little bit of a headache,” says Tanner Rose.

“I just had like a tension right above my eyes. It was mild. It was nothing severe. I had like a little bit of body aches. And I was fatigued for like a day or so,” says Jonathan Wilson, “Just pushed me to really lay down.”

“With the studies, it was about 40 to 60% of patients had some type of reaction to the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine,” Dr. Jennifer Preiss says.

She says symptoms generally happen at 8 to 12 hours after the shot. “A swelling at the site, some redness, muscle aches generalized, headaches, fevers, chills, some fevers can be quite high, 101, 102.”

While these side effects can be uncomfortable, nothing is wrong with you. Your body was primed by the first dose and is recognizing the second one.

“You should be very reassured if you have symptoms,” says Dr. Preiss, “That means your body is immunologically intact and is responding.”

If you don’t have any obvious reaction, she says that’s okay, too. “Patients that didn’t have severe reactions still had appropriate immunoresponses when they were tested.”

In most cases, post-vaccine symptoms go away in 1 or 2 days. If they last longer, call your doctor.

“There have been some accounts of people getting COVID, kind of between their vaccines or shortly after their second vaccine,” Dr. Preiss says.

This happened to Jonathan Wilson. He went to a funeral two days after his second dose, even though he knew he wouldn’t be fully protected until 14 days. He and several others at the funeral caught COVID.

“I’m thankful for the vaccine, because my symptoms compared to the other people who got symptoms were very mild,” he says, “I just had a runny nose for a couple days. I had some congestion. And I had that pain, that tension above my eyes.”

Tanner Rose was not worried by his side effects. “It means your body is creating the things it needs to fight off the real COVID infection if it were to get into your body.”

They’re both glad to be immunized.

Dr. Maria Simbra