What Side Effects Can You Expect After a Booster Shot?

A month ago, the Food and Drug Administration authorized specific populations to be eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 booster. On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that certain individuals are eligible for booster shots of all three available COVID-19 vaccines, after the FDA authorized the expansion Wednesday.

This means millions of Americans now qualify for a booster shot whether they had the two-dose mRNA Pfizer or Moderna shot, or the one dose Johnson & Johnson jab.

What side effects can you expect to experience after a booster shot, versus how you felt after receiving the first or second vaccine doses? According to CNBC, the CDC published data on Thursday listing the most common side effects of these boosters.

The data submitted to the agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, was gathered from submissions to the CDC’s text messaging system v-safe and the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, a national vaccine safety surveillance program.

Side effects experienced after a booster shot were similar to those felt after the second dose of an mRNA vaccine, such as Pfizer or Moderna.  

The most common side effects reported after receiving the booster were pain at the injection site, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, and fever, followed by chills and nausea, says CDC data.

Those who received the Johnson & Johnson booster and experience side effects reported fever, headache, and fatigue, says CNBC. And Dr. Macaya Douoguih, head of the Vaccine Clinical Development for Johnson & Johnson, added there was no data that showed an increased risk rare but serious blood clots following the J & J booster shot.

Israel, a country that has inoculated more than 3 million people with a third Pfizer dose, reports that they have not found any serious side effects after the third shot, including heart inflammation that may rarely occur in younger men, says an NBC affiliate in Chicago.

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