Doctors: Women and young people more likely to have side effects from second dose of COVID vaccine

Posted at 5:45 PM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 17:47:40-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Doctors say receiving both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine is critical.

"Two doses are essential to get the full protection with the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine," Dr. Gale Burstein, the Erie County Health Commissioner, said.

"With the second dose, your antibody response increases 10 fold. It will significantly increase the duration of how long the vaccine is going to be effective for," Dr. Thomas Russo, Chief of Infectious Disease at the Jacobs School of Medicine at the University at Buffalo, said.

Erie County clinics estimate less than 10% of people are not showing up for their second dose. Erie County has no way to know if those individuals received a second shot somewhere else.

"It's really variable. We can't really tell. Wherever you get the second dose for Pfizer or Moderna, it's essential you get the second dose," Dr. Burstein said.

Dr. Russo said some individuals do experience side effects following the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but that shouldn't deter one from getting it.

"People that are more likely to have symptoms such as flu like symptoms tend to be younger, less than 55, much more commonly occurs with the second shot than the first shot, and we're learning now much more likely to be females than males," Dr. Russo said, "Getting those symptoms is your body telling you I'm having a great response to the vaccine. It's worth noting that if you don't have the symptoms you're still having a great response to the vaccine."

Dr. Russo said if you do have side effects, they'll likely be gone within 24 hours.

"Look at this as an opportunity to take a vaccine day, hang out at home, curl up on the couch with a blanket and the clicker and do a little bit of binge watching on your favorite show," Dr. Russo said.