What It Really Feels Like to Get a COVID Vaccine



Even with all the discussion surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine and some people being for it or against it, it’s here to stay. And soon it will be distributed to the masses. With talk of distribution dates being as early as December 15th, it raises a lot of questions including how does it make people feel.


How the vaccine makes you feel


Volunteers who were the first in the world to be given Pfizer’s Covid vaccine — which Britain recently approved for mass roll-out — have compared the jab’s side effects to a ‘severe hangover’.


One 45-year-old volunteer said the first dose left her suffering side effects similar to the flu jab but that her symptoms were ‘more severe’ after her second dose, which is given 21 days later.


Another of the 40,000-plus participants who received the vaccine as part of a trial, 44-year-old Glenn Deshields, said it made him feel like he had a ‘severe hangover’ but those symptoms quickly cleared up.


According to an interview on CNN.com, a 24-year-old college student, Yasir Batalvi, took the Moderna vaccine and shared his experiences immediately after getting the first shot.


“The actual injection felt, at first, just like a flu shot, which is basically just a little pinch in the side of your arm,” Batalvi said. “Once I left the hospital, that evening, the stiffness got a little bit worse. It was definitely manageable, but you kind of don’t really feel like moving your arm too far above your shoulder. But the side effects are pretty localized. I mean, it’s just in the muscle in your arm. And that’s about it. It doesn’t really affect anything else and you feel fine.”


That was after the first dose. But the second dose was different.


The Second Dose may feel different


“I actually had some pretty significant symptoms after I got the second dose. Once I got the second dose, I was fine while I was in the hospital. But that evening was rough. I mean, I developed a low-grade fever, and fatigue and chills,” Batalvi said. He said he was out for that day and evening, but he “felt ready to go by the next morning.”


He said he called the study doctors to let them know about his symptoms. They weren’t alarmed and told him he shouldn’t be either.

Feeling under the weather does not mean that you got Covid-19 from the vaccine — in fact, experts say having this kind of reaction shows that your body is responding the way it should, and it should not deter anyone from getting vaccinated or going back for their second dose.


“That means your immune response is working for you. You should feel good about that,” said vaccine expert Dr. Paul Offit of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “And [there] shouldn’t really be any difficulty coming back for that second shot, knowing that you’re now in a much better position to fight off this awful virus, which has killed more than 250,000 people and can cause a lot of long term effects.”


Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg the same thing on Monday.


“What the body is telling you by that response is that it’s responding well to the injection,” he said.


“When you get an injection of the vaccine, you induce a