Springfield health leaders warn of more side-effects with second dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 4:08 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Springfield health leaders advise side-effects after the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine may be different than those experienced after the first round of the vaccine.

The Director of Food Services at Mercy Tyler Gant says after the first round of the COVID-19 vaccine, he only felt pain at the injection site.

“It felt like somebody had punched me in the arm,” Gant says.

After his second dose of the vaccine, Gant says his side-effects were a bit more severe.

“Round two I had some chills, some achy muscles and a dull headache for about 36 hours,” Gant says.

Gant says before he was vaccinated, he was informed that the side effects could be worse after the second dose. He says that’s what he and other coworkers at Mercy have experienced so far.

“The side-effects of the vaccine I think pale in comparison to the effects of COVID so I would much rather have discomfort for a day or two than end up in one of our ICU’s,” Gant says.

CoxHealth’s infectious disease doctor, Dr. Robin Trotman, says the first dose prepares your immune system with a blueprint to start making antibodies before giving the second dose to really boost the immune system.

“That imprints that spike protein immunity into your white blood cells, into your memory cells and your helper cells and into your bone marrow and your lymph nodes and your spleen and your thymus so that over time, you’ve got memory so that when you get exposed in the future, you can rapidly respond and fight that infection,” Dr. Trotman says.

CoxHealth tells KY3none of its staff have gotten the second dose of the vaccine, yet but the hospital is telling its employees to prepare for things like fatigue or headaches after the second dose.

“Really it’s not surprising that the booster vaccine that’s given at either three or four weeks have more of those systemic effects like fatigue, a fever, the injection site reaction is a little higher with maybe some swelling,” Dr. Trotman says.

Gant says he started out skeptical of the vaccine but after doing research and talking to health leaders at Mercy, he decided it was crucial that he get vaccinated.

“I would do it again in a heartbeat,” Gant says. “It’s something that I can do to help protect my family and my coworkers and the community.”

Gant says those side effects he experienced only lasted for about 36 hours and were similar to side effects from a flu vaccine.

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