Many countries are rolling out the COVID-19 vaccines so that the pandemic will be over and we can get back to normal. If you’ve never had COVID-19,your body doesn’t know how to fight it off. Vaccines help train your immune system to recognize the virus and be ready to attack.
But as we all have different immune systems, we respond differently to the vaccine and the virus. Having side effects has nothing to do with the effectiveness of the vaccine. So let’s see what’s going on once you get the job. Congratulations! You’ve just had your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. For this episode, we’ll be focusing on messenger RNA or mRNA vaccines. Once it enters your body, the mRNA vaccine instructs your cells to create a spike protein. This simulates part of the SARS CoV-2 viral structure and tricks your body into believing that it’s been infected. The spike proteins will then head to the surface of your cell.
Your immune cells will detect these proteins that don’t belong and begin making antibodies. If you happen to catch the virus in the future, these antibodies will attach to the spike proteins on both your infected cells and the coronavirus. This will mark them for immediate termination by your immune cells. To be clear, the mRNA does not change your DNA in any way.
Hear what I say? Once the spike proteins are made, your body destroys the mRNA.Five minutes after your vaccine shot, you’ll feel some soreness in your arm. To be safe, the Centers for Disease Control recommends you stay at the vaccination site for at least 15 minutes in case of a severe reaction. While it’s rare, you could have anaphylaxis, which is an immediate allergic response.
It causes a series of symptoms such as hives or swelling. Thankfully, trained healthcare personnel will be available at every vaccination site to treat you immediately with epinephrine. And according to the CDC, you have a greater chance of being struck by lighting, around one in 500,000, than having an allergic reaction. Four hours after your vaccine, you could feel nothing at all. Lucky you.
But you could also get a slight headache or a low-grade fever and feel tired. This is perfectly normal and is a sign that your immune system has kicked into action. At this point, you may experience mild symptoms as your body acclimatizes to the vaccine. You might feel tired and feverish. Be sure to get some rest and take the day off work if you need to. After about 48 hours, you should start to feel normal again.
So let’s keep going. Okay, if you got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you’d need to get your second booster shot three to four weeks after the first dose. Your immune system would be stronger than the first time. But let’s see how it goes next. After your second dose, you might feel crummy again. You could feel tired feverish and you might get the chills. These reactions are more common after the second dose of the vaccine. But they’re mainly mild to moderate and usually go away in a day or two.
And two weeks after your second shot, you’d be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. So far, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been 95% effective at preventing COVID-19 illness. In either case, the vaccine can prevent hospitalization and death in people who have gotten sick. So getting a vaccine is your safest path to protect yourself, your family and your community against this virus.
It could also help reach herd immunity by having vaccinated people act as a barrier between non-vaccinated people and those who have been infected. This video was a collaboration between Nucleus Medical Media and the What If Channel, where we usually dive into hypothetical scenarios on the human body, humanity, the planet and the cosmos. Check out our channel by visiting the link in the description below.