Denver, Colorado 2021-04-04 19:00:47 –
Tara Parker Pope, New York Times
Nearly 3 million people in the United States receive the COVID-19 vaccine daily. And every new jab prompts new questions about what to expect after vaccination.
Last week I asked readers to send me questions about vaccination. Here are some answers.
Q: I heard that the side effects of the COVID vaccine can be really terrible, especially after the second vaccination. Do you need to worry?
A: After two doses of both the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine, short-term side effects such as fatigue, headache, myalgia, and fever are more common and require two doses each. (The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one dose.) Patients who experience unpleasant side effects after the second dose feel that the flu is terrible, such as “flattened” or “useless for two days.” I often use phrases. .. During the vaccine study, patients were advised to schedule a few days off after the second dose in case they needed to spend a day or two in bed.
The data collected from v-safe is an app recommended for everyone to use to track side effects after vaccination and also shows the increased side effects reported after the second dose. .. For example, about 29% of people reported fatigue after the first Pfizer-BioNTech shot, but jumped to 50% after the second dose. Muscle pain increased from 17% after the first shot to 42% after the second shot. About 7% had chills and fever after the first dose, but increased to about 26% after the second dose.
The New York Times interviewed dozens of newly vaccinated people in the next few days. They talked about a wide range of reactions, from no reaction at all to symptoms such as uncontrollable tremors and “brain fog.” These experiences are not fun, but they do show that your own immune system has a strong response to the vaccine.
Q: Is it true that women have more side effects of the vaccine than men?
A: Analysis from the first 13.7 million COVID-19 vaccines given to Americans found that side effects were more common in women. Also, although serious reactions to the COVID vaccine are rare, almost all cases of anaphylaxis or life-threatening allergic reactions occur in women.
The finding that women report and are more likely to experience unpleasant side effects with the COVID vaccine is consistent with other vaccines. Women and girls can produce up to twice as much antibody after being vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), hepatitis A and B influenza vaccinations. Response to the vaccine.
It is true that women are more likely to report side effects than men, but there is also a biological explanation for the higher incidence of side effects in women. Estrogen can stimulate the immune response, but testosterone can blunt it. In addition, many immune-related genes are on the X chromosome, of which females have two copies and males have only one. These differences may help explain why far more women than men suffer from autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases occur when a strong immune response attacks healthy tissues in the body.
Q: There were no side effects. Does that mean my immune system isn’t responding and the vaccine doesn’t work?
A: Side effects are the focus of attention, but clinical trials of vaccines and real-world data show that many people do not experience any side effects other than arm pain. In Pfizer’s vaccine trial, 1 in 4 patients reported no side effects. In the Moderna trial, 57% of patients (aged 64 years or younger) reported side effects after the first dose. This jumped to 82% after the second dose. That is, 1 in 5 patients did not report a response after the second dose.
Dr. Paul Offit, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccine Advisory Board, said that the absence of side effects does not mean that the vaccine will not work. Ofit said that while a significant number of people did not report side effects during the vaccine trial, the trial still showed that about 95% of people were protected. “It proves that you don’t have to have side effects to be protected,” he said.
No one really knows why some people have so many side effects and others don’t. We know that younger people have a stronger immune response to the vaccine than older people, whose immune system weakens with age. Women usually have a stronger immune response than men. But again, these differences don’t mean you’re unprotected if you don’t feel much after taking a shot.
Scientists are still convinced that people whose immune system may be weakened by certain medical conditions, such as cancer treatment or HIV infection, or how effective the vaccine is because they are taking immunosuppressive drugs. I have not. However, most experts believe that the vaccine provides these patients with some protection against COVID-19.
In conclusion, individual immune responses may vary, but the data collected so far show that all three US-approved vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson) are seriously affected by COVID-19. It shows that it is effective against illness and death. ..
Q: I took Tylenol before receiving the COVID vaccine, but there was almost no response to the vaccination. Did I make a big mistake?
A: Do not take painkillers to stop discomfort before taking a shot. Concerns are that pre-medication with painkillers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) can prevent side effects such as arm pain, fever and headaches and slow down the body’s immune response. There is a possibility of making it.
Taking painkillers before the injection can weaken the body’s immune response, but vaccine experts say you shouldn’t worry and try a new round of replacement injections. Premedication can slow the body’s immune response to the vaccine, according to studies of other vaccines, but the immune system can provide a strong enough defense to combat infection. A review of a study of more than 5,000 children compared antibody levels in children who took and did not take painkillers before and after vaccination. They found that painkillers did not have a meaningful effect on the immune response, and that both groups of children produced adequate levels of antibodies after their shots.
The high efficacy of all COVID vaccines may allow some room for shaking and adequate protection from COVID-19, even if Tylenol is taken prior to the shot and the body’s immune response slows down. It suggests that it is highly sexual. “Especially with such a good vaccine, you can rest assured that you will have a good immune response and protection,” says Ofit.
Q: How about taking painkillers after the shot?
A: Ofit said that it’s okay to treat side effects with painkillers, but “don’t take” if you don’t really need it.
Most experts agree that it is safe to take painkillers to relieve discomfort after vaccination, but if symptoms can be managed with or without vaccination. It is recommended that you do not take painkillers after the injection. The concern about taking unnecessary painkillers is that it can slow down some of the effects of the vaccine. (When it comes to vaccines, choosing acetaminophen or ibuprofen makes no significant difference.)
During the Moderna trial, about 26% of people took acetaminophen to reduce side effects, but the overall efficacy of the vaccine was still 94%.
Q: If I am already infected with COVID-19, will the side effects worsen?
A: Studies and case reports show that people previously diagnosed with COVID-19 infection have a stronger response and more side effects after the first dose of the vaccine than those who have never been infected with the virus. There is a possibility. A strong response to the first dose of the vaccine may indicate a previous infection, even if you are unaware of it.
If your previous COVID-19 test was positive, or if your antibody blood test was positive, consider planning a few days off in case of a stronger response to the first dose. please. Not only is it more comfortable to stay at home and recover in bed, but the side effects of the vaccine can resemble the symptoms of COVID-19, and your colleagues will not want to be near you anyway.
Q: I already had COVID-19. Does that mean I can only take it once?
A: Studies have shown that a single dose may be sufficient for previously confirmed cases of COVID-19, but so far the medical guidelines have not changed. If you have been vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, you should plan a second vaccination, even if you are infected with COVID-19. If your employer or airline asks you to check for evidence of future vaccinations, skipping the second vaccination can cause problems. If you live in an area where a Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine is available, you can be fully vaccinated with a single dose.
Q: Does the vaccine work against new variants that have emerged around the world?
A: The vaccine appears to be effective against new variants that were born in the United Kingdom and are rapidly gaining dominance in the United States. However, some variants of the coronavirus, especially those first identified in South Africa and those first identified in Brazil, appear to be more proficient in dodging antibodies in vaccinated people.
It sounds annoying, but there is a reason for hope. Vaccinated people exposed to more resistant mutants still appear to be protected from serious illness. Also, scientists have a clear enough understanding of variants that they are already working on developing booster shots that target variants. The variants identified in South Africa and Brazil are not yet widespread in the United States.
Vaccinated people must wear masks in public and comply with public health guidelines, but should not live for fear of mutation, said the director of the National Tropical Medicine Department at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Dr. Peter Hotez said. “If you’re vaccinated, you should be pretty confident about how well you are protected,” Hotez said. “I rarely go to the hospital or ICU with COVID-19. Eventually, booster recommendations will be displayed.”
Is the second dose bad? If I feel OK, is it working? Can I take Tylenol? – The Denver Post Source link Is the second dose bad? If I feel OK, is it working? Can I take Tylenol? – The Denver Post