What to expect from the COVID-19 vaccines

BOSTON — Each vaccine seems to be developing a reputation as more people share stories about potential side effects or experiences. But health officials caution people not to try to make your appointment based on what vaccine you could get.

We talked to people outside the Hynes Convention Center regarding how they were feeling about getting their shot and which vaccine they were getting.

“I wanted Pfizer, and I was happy I got it,” one woman said.  

A BU law student also got Pfizer.  

“I heard the Moderna second dose is kinda rough,” said the student. 

“I just read more about Pfizer than J&J. They’re all good, they are all good. I was just nervous because I have a history of allergic reaction,” another woman told us.

Dr. Shira Doron is an infectious disease physician and hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center. She told us all three vaccines are safe, and you should take the first one you can get an appointment for.  

“I would not shop around based on your friend’s stories. I would also not shop around period,” said Dr. Doron.

She was also honest about the side effects.

“The honest truth is that there are side effects, and some people will experience them and some people will not,” said Dr. Doron.

Dr. Doron says the bottom line is even if you hear a story about one vaccine, there is no science backing that the same thing would happen to you. And overall, the side effects are very minor. 

“Fatigue, low grade fever, sometimes higher grade, sometimes chills, sometimes muscle aches, headaches. A lot of the kind of flu like symptom associated with COVID,” said Dr. Doron.

The other big question people have been having is when to book their shot, since they could have side effects.

“You have to plan as if you are going to be feeling unwell enough that you might be feeling unwell enough to be in bed that day,” said Dr. Doron.

She also said don’t take any medications like Tylenol or Advil before your shot because that could impact how effective it is. Wait until after if you think you are going to need it.

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