New CDC report sheds light on side effects of booster shots
Atlanta - There is some reassuring news for those nervous about the potential side effects of getting a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Just over 22,000 of the first Americans in line for a third dose, many of them immunocompromised, shared information about their side effects after their third shot through their smartphones, as part of the CDC's v-safe vaccine safety surveillance system.
They reported the side effects after the third dose were similar to those commonly experienced after the second dose.
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Of the 22, 191 participants who received a third shot, 71% reported injection site pain, 56% had fatigue and 43% experienced headache.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky says researchers have not seen any unusual patterns in this first group to receive the third dose.
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"The frequency and type of side effects were similar to those seen after the second vaccine doses and were mostly mild or moderate and short-lived," Walensky says.
Localized reactions were slightly less common after the third dose, but systemic, or full-body, reactions were slightly more common.
Of the v-safe participants who received a third shot, 32% reported the side effects impacted their health and 28% say they were unable to perform normal daily activities, most commonly on the day after their injection.
Boosters of the Pfizer-BioNTech are now recommended for people 65 and older, adults with underlying health conditions like obesity, diabetes, or high blood pressure, and those who work or live in higher-risk settings.
Health officials recommend waiting 6 months after your second dose of the Pfizer vaccine before receiving a booster shot.
"If you are eligible for a vaccine booster and you have questions, I encourage you to go to vaccines.gov, talk with your healthcare provider, pharmacist or a health professional about your current risk for COVID-19, the benefit of a vaccine booster dose and the safety of receiving of an additional dose," Dr. Walensky says.
About 55% of Americans are now fully vaccinated.
About 70 million of those eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines remain unvaccinated.
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