Moderna’d Part II

Athena ScalziWelcome to the much (or maybe not so much) anticipated sequel of me getting vaccinated! Last time, I posted way too early and said I had no symptoms other than a tender arm. Let me tell you, I got fucked up a couple hours later.

My arm hurt so badly that I couldn’t even move it, like in any direction, without it being super painful. It felt like my entire arm was one giant bruise. I couldn’t lay on it, touch it, or even have it come in contact with anything. Also, I got really intense chills. I was shaking like a leaf! It made my whole body ache. Despite having had five blankets on top of me, I was still freezing, and shaking for several hours nonstop.

I took 1000mg Ibuprofen and went to sleep, and when I woke up, I wasn’t shaking anymore. My entire body was still sore, but it was definitely manageable.

Fast forward almost a month, I got my second dose of Moderna. I was terrified, considering how badly I reacted to it last time. I cleared my schedule for the entire rest of the day and the next day, and vowed to lay around and relax, just in case I fell ill.

Much to my surprise, the second dose was a breeze! The shot hurt even less than the first one did, and though my arm was a little sore for a few hours after, it was nothing compared to the shot prior. I had no symptoms at all, which is great because I’ve heard from pretty much everyone that the second shot is the one that really does people in.

So, now I’m fully vaccinated! Though technically you’re supposed to wait two weeks after your second dose to be considered totally safe. Of course, I’ll keep wearing my mask everywhere anyways, even after the two week period is up.

If you haven’t got vaccinated yet, just know going in that more than likely, one of the two (if not both) shots might knock you on your ass. So clear your schedule if you can and be prepared.

What was your experience with getting vaccinated, if you have been? I know I asked last time, but if anyone has gotten their first or second one since that post, feel free to answer in the comments! And have a great day.


92 Comments on “Moderna’d Part II”

  1. Nothing except slightly sore arm both times (Pfizer). I was really lucky, especially since I had a callback for a play the day after my second shot and I shudder to think how that might have gone.

  2. That uncontrollable shivering seems to be a reaction that many folks have, and nothing — no hot baths, electric blankets, or sitting next to a heater — makes any difference. It’s there for a few hours and then it goes away.

    I didn’t have the chills after my first or second shot (Moderna) but I did feel achy for a few days. I’m glad I’m vaccinated now. What a relief it is. I also still mask-up when I’m in stores and I’m still not eating-in at restaurants, though I’m so glad that the weather’s warming up for patio dining.

  3. I got both doses of the Pzifer shot and was stunned that aside from a sore arm, I had no symptoms. And yep, right with you on still wearing my mask.

  4. I’m also Team Moderna and had a pretty similar experience. M1 shot my arm hurt so much the day after I just stuck my left hand in my pocket all day so I wouldn’t be tempted to use it for anything. Also felt like general tired crap.

    M2 shot I had negative symptoms about 1/3rd the severity of M1. Go figure!

  5. I’ve heard reports like this before, both around the net and from people I know: that if you haven’t had the disease, the first shot isn’t too bad and the second might knock you flat; but if you have had it before (as you have) then that’s reversed, and it’s the first one that’s really bad and then the second isn’t such a huhu.

    For myself (haven’t had it), my first Moderna shot gave me a slightly sore arm, but not as bad as some flu shots I’ve had before. My second gave me worse soreness, but that was about it. I maybe went to bed a little earlier the next day than I might have, but I certainly didn’t have the rough time some people got. I’m 53 (very nearly exactly one year older than your dad) so my immune response might be more muted — I’ve heard that older folks are less likely to have strong reactions.

  6. After having the virus itself and now two doses of the vaccine, you probably have a very high antibody level now, but you are doing the right thing to continue wearing a mask indoors away from home. Tomorrow will be two weeks after my second mRNA dose, and I plan to continue wearing a mask at places like the grocery store.

    My wife and I are gradually resuming in-person socializing, but only with people who have been vaccinated; we are staying away from indoor restaurants until US infections are a lot lower than they are right now.

    This NIH study found that “antibody levels in previously infected people after their first shot were as high as those from uninfected people after their second shot”:

  7. Neither shot was noticeable for me.

    I wonder whether tough reactions means the disease would have been tough, and easy reactions means the disease would have been easy.

  8. Team Pfizer here. I’ve heard that the second shot can be bad if you have not had covid, but the first is bad if you have because of the antibody levels from the virus. Glad you are fully vaccinated. I live in KY and I wish more people here were getting vaccinated. It didn’t help that Meijer started a walk-in vaccine clinic and people were signing up for J&J and then a couple of days later that one was put on hold.

  9. My 18yo had the same. One day later he still feels horrible. I had the same shot at the same time. I’m… ok. Tired, sore, a little nauseous with a touch of a headache. I’m close to your father’s age. I also have epilepsy and take meds for it. Odd younger, healthy people feel the effects more than people like me.

    Neither one of us regrets getting vaccinated at all.

    Feel better.

  10. My anecdotal experience:
    1st Pfizer shot:
    Arm soreness but mild enough to ignore. Nothing else.
    2nd Pfizer shot:
    Arm soreness not quite mild enough to ignore but still mild. Didn’t stop me from doing anything.
    Tiredness the next day. I still worked my normal 10.5hr but went to bed right after and slept ’till the next morning. Then I felt fine.

    I hope this normalizes that vaccines may have a few short term side effects but are worth it.

  11. Here’s my story. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination was first given to me in mid-March, and the second one in early April. I had no adverse symptoms either time, other than a sore arm that was worse the first time than the second. That soreness was pretty much like the soreness from a flu vaccination.

    I was infected with the COVID-19 virus in mid-March of 2020, with symptoms that were milder than most colds I’ve had. The virus tried earnestly with me, providing the joy of a moving sore throat that was never terrible, but it relentlessly attacked different spots all over my throat for about three weeks. And I had one day of shortness of breath, but some simple walking exercise took care of that.

    Scientists don’t seem to be able to predict who will have a severe reaction to the vaccination versus those who have very little reaction. However, I must say that determining that seems low on the priority list; getting as many people as possible vaccinated quickly is the actual priority. Whether some people suffer a bit from it or not, or even if a very tiny number of people become quite ill from it, is irrelevant when considered in light of the overall problem and solutions for protecting the population as a whole. (Of course if it becomes clear that something is wrong with one or more of the several vaccinations available, that’s a different matter.)

  12. Congrats on the vax!

    I got the Moderna at the same time as my sister and we had opposite reactions. First shot had mild pain at the injection site and a very slight “under the weather” feeling for me, while my sister felt like she had a mild virus. Second shot laid me looow for a solid 36 hours, feeling like the flu (or a hangover). My sister felt nearly perfectly fine after the second shot, just a little tired and sore.

    Reactions have been all across the board for our friends as well. I’m really glad to be vaccinated and that my at-risk family members are now as well. We lost my dad to COVID shortly before the vaccines were cleared for use which was, well, awful.

  13. Pfizer, no reactions to either shot–well, maybe a slightly sore arm after the second one, but I usually get a sore arm from flu shots, too, so it didn’t strike me as remarkable.

    I figure I’m one of the “lucky” ones (in the sense that we’re all lucky to be vaccinated at all, but those of us who have no side effects are maybe luckier than others). That said, I just ordered a new box of the type of disposable masks I prefer–it’s going to be a while before I stop masking up when I go out in public!

  14. Moderna 1: tired with sore arm the next day

    Moderna 2: headache and low-grade fever the next day, which I spent alternately reading and sleeping

  15. 1st dose of Moderna – very sore arm for a couple of days and some mild fatigue
    2nd dose of Moderna – mildly sore arm and fatigue for about 48 hours.
    A small price to pay for protection

  16. Congratulations! I got both Modernas in March, on the 4th and 31st. First one I had a slightly sore arm, nothing more. The second was the same way until about 28 hours later, when I felt a bit woozy and had some mild chills.

  17. Yay for being vaccinated. As of tomorrow my 2 weeks are up and I will be 100% ready to go out in public again (fully masked of course – this is Georgia and there are a ton of idiot non-vax, non-mask people about).

    My best friend (also Moderna shot) had the same cold chills reaction you did: She said she was so cold her teeth were chattering and no amount of blankets or space heaters or hot showers could fix it.

    I got the Pfizer shot and had what seem to be pretty typical results among my group of friends:

    1st shot – sore arm (like a bruise) but no muscle soreness. Slight headache the next day which could also have been allergies.

    2nd shot – 13 hours post-jab I woke up with a migraine type headache: my head hurt so bad that I threw up. Chills and nausea (but oddly no fever) for the next 12-14 hours. I piled on the blankets, took Tylenol PM, drank a ton of water, and tried to sleep as much as I could. By the next morning I was 100% fine. My arm was tender for another day or two.

    All in all the 12-14 hours of reaction was awful (I described it as the worst hangover I’ve ever had x3) but I’d do it all again in a minute for the sense of relief I feel about being vaccinated!

  18. Pfizer. Shot one: sore arm. Shot two: sore, slightly itchy arm. Otherwise, zip.

    I feel a little bit like I missed out on a pivotal experience, but I cannot claim sequelae that I did not have.

  19. I barely had a sore arm after my first dose of Pfizer, and after the second dose, I slept all day but never felt ill in any way. Kudos on being double-vaccinated!

  20. That’s in line with what I’ve heard!

    That those who’ve already had COVID usually have the stronger reaction to the first shot.

    That’s not saying, of course, everyone has a strong response. I had the fever and chills and loved Advil after my second (#housePfizer) shot, but my identical twin was tired and sore and nothing else.

  21. Pfizer 1: slightly sore arm.

    Pfizer 2: 48 hours of very sore arm, aches, chills and nausea. Basically, my immune system told me to go Pfuck myself. :)

    I had by far the strongest symptoms of anyone in my immediate family.

  22. Pfizer: first shot, minor arm soreness, barely noticeable. Disappeared within 24 hours. Second shot: slightly more arm soreness. Disappeared within 48 hours. I’m 71 years old, so maybe my immune system didn’t react as strongly as if I were younger?

    Let us know if this helps your parosmia, Athena! I hope it does.

  23. 1st Pfizer: nothing, my husband had sore arm…,
    2nd Pfizer: nothing, maybe a red spot on arm, but could be bandage, my husband was achy and generally felt off the next day.

    Now, my sister’s 2nd Pfizer in early Feb, she was out of commission 12 hours after shot….had chills and aches and could not regulate body temperature, lasts about another 22 hours.
    My son received J&J at his college….had a headache 12 hours afterwards that night, fine after.

    Congratulations on your 2nd shot!!!

  24. I got the Pfizer shots. Had essentially the same side effects both times, to about the same degree.

    Day 1 – shot in the late morning before lunch. No immediate reaction at all. By dinnertime, slightly sore arm, similar to most vaccinations, and a slight headache that a Tylenol took care of.

    Day 2 – noticeably sore arm. General fatigue, but nothing I couldn’t have just powered through.

    Day 3 – overall body aches when I moved. Very sore arm if I tried to use it or put weight on it, but not particularly sore if I wasn’t. Cycled through feeling perfectly normal and then being “falling asleep over the food bowl” tired, that a short nap took care of, four or five times during the day.

    Day 4 – pretty much back to normal in all respects. Nothing about it would have made me regret getting the vaccine.

  25. Pfizer shots.

    Very little reaction to either shot. A small amount of arm soreness. I think there was a bit more soreness after the second shot.

  26. Based on evidence from an informal poll of friends and family if you had Covid before getting your first shot then the first shot was actually your second shot and the second shot was a booster. The apparent reason why the second shot is often worse for symptoms is because the first shot “primes” your system and starts generating Covid antibodies. The second shot then reacts to them pushing antibody production into overdrive. If you already had Covid your body already has antibodies.

    Athena, that would explain your reaction as you had Covid. FYI, this is all based on numerical evidence (you are the third person who had Covid that I know of that reacted that way to vaccination). I Am Not a Doctor or in any way part of the medical profession so take this with a large grain of salt.

  27. I had my second Moderna shot yesterday (Sunday)

    I have been hydrating and using a heating won my arm
    So far I just have soreness and feeling somewhat tired on day one after the shot

    My first shot was more sore and I was wiped out for a day but I hadn’t hydrated as much then

  28. Almost everyone I know got the Pfizer shot and only one person had a really bad reaction! I took the day after my 2nd shot off of work in anticipation of being wrecked and nothing…my arm wasn’t even sore. About 4 days after the 2nd shot I hit a wall and needed to take a long nap in the middle of the afternoon, but that was it.

  29. I had my second Moderna shot yesterday (Sunday)

    I have been hydrating and using a heating pad on my arm
    So far I just have soreness and feeling somewhat tired on day one after the shot

    My first shot I was definitely more sore and I was wiped out for a day but I hadn’t hydrated as much then

  30. Team Pfizer here. I had mild soreness for about 24 hours in my shoulder around the injection site for both the first and second shots. Nothing else that I noticed.

  31. Hey gang,
    I’m all done. My second Moderna was two weeks ago. My first Mod was six weeks ago. In reverse chronological order…

    I got knocked flat the day after my second shot. Fever, exhaustion, arm pain, three hour nap in the middle of the day.

    The day of my second shot, was just arm pain, like I had been stung by a bee. No swelling, but lots of range of motion loss. That wouldn’t come back for three days.

    A month before, my first shot, was like any other vaccine shot. I usually get muscle tightness in my shoulder. I did. It might have lasted three days instead of two, but that was it.

    Honestly, I didn’t mind anything except the nap in the middle of the day. But my body just tapped out. I was fine 25 hours later, and the rebound was really quick and obvious.

    And of course, it beats Covid. Get your shots, please people.

  32. I got my Johnson & Johnson shot at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway a month ago. I drove over 100 miles to get it, but I was happy to get it done and out of the way. I felt some nausea the following day and my arm feels a bit weird. No big deal.

  33. Glad you’re all vaxxed up! Go team “Herd Immunity”! I got my first Pfizer at the end of March, sore arm, but no real reaction otherwise. Got my second dose two weeks ago and it put me on my ass for an entire day. The day I got the shot I was OK, the next morning I couldn’t get out of bed. Sore arm where I got the shot, sore everywhere else, massive headache, think I was running a slight fever. I got over it within 24 hours and I went to work the next day. That was my experience.

  34. I got the single shot J&J. No reaction at first but the next morning woke up with a 101 fever, and a huge headache. My body felt like I had been hit by a truck. Fever broke after 8 hours, but body soreness lasted 5 days. Kind of irritated I got J&J, as it is only 72%, and they were giving Moderna shots (2nd dose only) at the same place. Oh, well, better than not being vaccinated. I will keep masking up.

  35. Moderna vaccine here. I’ve had Covid, second dose soonish. I’ve had soreness at the sight, and dizziness and muscle pain that has yet to go away entirely. The better half has also had Covid, and was very sick for 4 days for his first shot, a bit sick for a couple of days for the second.

    If we all continue to answer, we might get a statistical sample!

  36. Glad to hear it went well.

    My wife had chills too (though not as bad as yours) after her second Pfizer shot, as well as fatigue for a day or so and a slight headache. I had…zip. Not even a sore arm.

    So, pretty lucky all the way around. All of our friends have been fully vaccinated (but then, we’re all geezers), and the last of my relatives (youngest sister and niece) are getting their first shot today. My sister had physical reasons she couldn’t get it before, and my niece hates needles and was afraid to get it, so good for her getting it now.

  37. Had my first dose (Pfizer) last week. Had a slightly sore arm for part of the following day, but that was about it as regards side effects. Looking forward to #2 in ~10 weeks time, because the closer we get to getting everyone done, the closer we get back to something near normal.
    (My parents – both in their seventies – have had both jabs, and no side effects that they could be bothered to tell me about. We did swap jokes about Dad still not being able to get 5G on his hearing aids, mind …)

  38. First shot I had a sore arm; second shot I was tired and achy for a day but nothing too major. Team Pfizer, by the way.

    I carry a mask with me outside and use it when in proximity to another person, otherwise not. Still haven’t gone to a restaurant inside, but have hung out with vaccinated friends maskless at an outdoor place.

    It’s pretty clear that vaccinated folks 1) are essentially immune to covid, 2) even in the extremely rare case they do get it, it’s very mild, and 3) almost never carry it, so aren’t really a danger to others. Given all that, I’ll likely start relaxing (slowly) over the next few weeks.

  39. I heard it’s the second “incident” in your body that knocks you on your butt (infection + vaccine #1 or vaccine #1 + vaccine #2) so I’m not surprised reading your experience. I never had covid and I go for my Moderna #2 tomorrow. Also, I’m hosting Mother’s Day this year so my house is already clean and the groceries have been purchased. I’m ready to get hit and I welcome it.

  40. Astra Zeneca here; I’m Canadian and too young at 56 to get an mRNA vaccine, but I wasn’t going to wait until they’re made available to younger people. I spent the next day in bed feeling exhausted but was pretty much over it after that.

  41. I’m a male in my mid-thirties. First Moderna shot gave me injection site soreness radiating outward for about 36 hours, but not severe enough to impact me much. There was pain if I put pressure on it, but otherwise easy enough to ignore. Second shot coming this Friday, so I’ll have the weekend to recover if needed.

    I have an identical twin brother who got his second Pfizer shot this past Friday. He had worse symptoms than I did. First shot gave him nausea for a couple of days, second one made him sore and tired all over, though the nausea didn’t happen a second time.

  42. I do think there is a lot of confirmation bias in shot symptoms. Those who have little or no effects don’t bother posting about it, and that’s the overwhelming majority of people.
    I got Moderna, and both shots felt like I’d been punched hard in the shoulder, but maybe hit with only one knuckle or something. Kind of a deep bruised feeling soreness, but localized to a small area. First may have been a little worse than the second, and both faded within a few days.
    Parents and sister go pfizer, similar symptoms, I think my sister was feeling ill the second day after the second dose.
    Then a lot of people are reporting symptoms that should be counted as vaccine anxiety. They hear about bad side effects, so any sneeze or anything must be caused by the vaccine.

  43. Male, 70.

    Wife and I got our first Moderna vaccination in mid-February, while our rural county was powerless after that ice storm. Clinic was fully operational on their back-up generators, big diesel honkers.

    We both had a sore arm for 36 hours, no other reaction.

    Second vaccination, same clinic, outdoor drive-thru on beautiful spring day mid March, one day less than 4 weeks after the first shot. Wife again had nothing more than a slightly more sore arm.

    I on the other hand slept comfortably very early to bed, sleep late, take a nap second day afternoon, again early to bed sleep late next day. Was normal for a couple of days.

    Then woke up with pretty much a whole body charley-horse. Every muscle was sore, some were severely cramping. I have been prone to muscle spasms for many years, this was a pretty bad specimen of that problem. I took my prescription medication, which made it tolerable.

    Still a little achy, but like everyone else, would do it again in a heart beat. Nothing is as bad as the Covid disease!!

    Still wearing masks whenever we are out and about, will for a very long time, if not forever. Anyone else notice that there was no flu epidemic last winter? Anyone else want to avoid the flu next winter?

    Maybe just me, but such a small price to pay for not catching the flu. We get every vaccination that comes around, flu, pneumonia, etc. Works OK so far, mask appears to help as much as the flu shot does.

  44. Hi Athena,

    I also had the Moderna vaccination. My experience was very simple: My shoulder hurt a little, both times, for a few days—that said, my body always hurts at the injection site for a couple of days afterwards, regardless of what the injection was. The net of this is that I can legitimately claim to have had no adverse reaction to either shot.

    I’m glad your second shot went without significant reaction. It seems the reactions to these COVID-19 vaccines are very individual and it’s very hard to predict just what to expect.


  45. Thirding what David Goldberg said. I suspect I may have been previously infected with no symptoms; good thing I have been religious about masking, washing, etc. My first shot (Pfizer) had no reactions outside of a sore arm for nearly 5 days, then 2 days of body aches and brain fog, Second shot, a sore arm was the extent of it. Grateful to have the shot(s) nonetheless.

  46. Fully Pfizered, only had slight soreness at the injection site. I no longer wear a mask outdoors because the CDC says I don’t have to. (I live in NYC). I wear a mask indoors where required.

  47. Haven’t had my shots yet, since I’m in the EU and we were too conservative buying vaccines.

    My parents, who are in their early seventies, both had their first shots with absolutely no side-effects. They’ve been getting flu shots with no side effectsfor about 15 years too. This fills me with hope, since I had my first flu shot this year (Work offered it.) and I had no side-effects from that.

  48. Canadian with just one AstraZeneca so far — I thought I had no symptoms, not even a sore arm, and then 36 hours after my shot my arm got quite tender and I felt like I was getting the flu or a fever, plus extreme fatigue. Took ibuprofen and went to bed, woke up fine.

  49. Pfizer #1, 3 hours ago. Nothing to report, and I barely even felt the shot at all — mean, I was still waiting when the tech said “There ya go.”

    21 days to #2.

  50. Mine was very much Robert Woodhead’s above, plus night sweats and insomnia after the second shot. Got better after ~48 hours.

  51. No real reactions to report. (Minor reactions are one of the few boons of being older than dirt.) But I’m curious if getting your shots helped mitigate your long covid symptoms. Some friends have reported their brain fog dissipated within hours of their first or second shot. Fingers crossed it will work the same for your sense of smell.

  52. Pfizer #1: Basically nothing, maybe a BIT tired. I mean, yes, sore arm around that area, but puncturing a muscle will do that anyway. To me that’s not a SIDE effect; that’s an EFFECT of sticking a needle into my muscle! ;-)

    Pfizer #2: Similar, but the next day I was kinda tired/run-down. Seemed minimal, till I realized I needed a nap and wound up resting/sleeping for a few hours late in the day.

    So: Basically very minimal, and TBH my poor sleep before/after both shots probably contributed.

    GO TEAM (any vaccine)!

  53. Your experience was almost the exact opposite of mine. My first shot – nothing beyond being a little sore. Barely even a spot of blood.

    Then the second shot (going on two weeks ago, now)…raised a bump probably an eighth of an inch high, blood running down my arm…the worst I’ve had. And I’ve been in the military and had more than my fair share of shots.

    My arm was in really bad shape by the time I tried to get some sleep and I was miserable all night. The next evening the fever and chills came on. That was basically over by the morning – my temp was 98.7 which technically is 2 degrees above my average.

    And then that third afternoon, I realized my lymph nodes had gotten swollen and sore, too.

    I’m two weeks out and most of the discoloration is gone.

    All of which I’d take again versus what people who have actually caught the thing have gone thru.

  54. Interesting. I was Moderna as well and had exactly the opposite experience. The first shot I barely noticed, the second one left me feeling like I got run over by a truck. Chills, body aches, the whole nine yards.

  55. Both Moderna shots about a month apart. No symptoms the first time, a mild headache the second time.

  56. Like Yves Meynard (salut Yves!), “young” Canadian so AstraZeneca.
    Sore arm the night after, couldn’t sleep on this side. 48 hours fever alternating between ibuprofen and tylenol. Chills and aches all over. Better the second day than the first.
    The wait bewtween shots is longer in Canada because supply, so 16 weeks to wait for the second shot. Can’t wait.

  57. Two doses of Moderna, one at the end of February and one at the end of March.

    Minor side effects: soreness at the injection site for both, and some fatigue and mild diarrhea after the second.

    I also checked the box for “joint pain” on the CDC’s V-safe check-ins, but doubt it had anything to do with the vaccine.

    I am enjoying going places–yes, masked if I’m going into a shop, bus, or subway station–but I’m not worrying about the risk if I want to pick up my own prescription, or browse in a grocery store.

  58. I’m Canadian so only one shot so far…
    I was given Pfizer: I had some dizziness for about an hr after the shot, mild chills & fatigue. Had a nap, woke up & the chills were gone but I still felt tired for the rest of the day. Injection site was quite sore for about 3 days afterward, but regular ice packs helped.
    Looking forward to my 2nd shot later this summer, even if it knocks me over.

  59. I had both doses of Moderna. I had no after effects, slightly tender at the injection site. My husband had Pzizer, same thing. I feel amazing. As a nurse I’ve seen what this monster disease can do. Get Vaccinated!

  60. I got the first of the AZ shots a week and a half ago.

    No issues with the arm to speak of. I did have chills at bedtime (about 10 hours after the shot) and felt wiped out the next day.

    That was about it. No big deal and certainly worth it!

  61. Team J&J here. Husband and I got them at the same time/place. He had serious chills and then too hot and then chills again all night the first night, but then was basically fine. I had no chills, but woke up with body aches the first night and had to take Ibuprofen to get back to sleep, then was on-and-off with aches and mild headache for several days. And boy, was I tired for a few days.

  62. Also Team Pfizer; I had no reaction to the first shot- not even a sore arm – but the second jab 11 weeks later (I’m in England where they decided to ignore the recommended period and get as many first shots in as many arms as possible) really took me down.

    In addition to the physical symptoms, which were not fun, my brain decided to take me offline for a few days; for example I have no memory whatsoever of phone calls to me which I know were made, and which I responded to. It might be worth bearing that in mind if you are disappointed that someone hasn’t called you to see how you are feeling after your shot, because they may well have done so!

    I do fit into the pattern: I am classed as clinically extremely vulnerable since I have severe lung disease, and therefore I have been in strict isolation. For example, I live by myself and I have not seen anyone I know since last September; I have not had Covid, so the second shot took me down.

    Once I finally emerge I will be sticking with masks and steering clear of groups of people.

  63. As for wishing others would get the vaccine: False information is always from social media, never from traditional media.

    Part of the reason journalists are ethical is peer pressure, such as how pressure makes teens wear inadequate clothing for rain and snow. Also the editors are fierce about ethics, like sergeants being fierce about a professional attitude in the armed forces.

    If I am silent when folks eagerly tell me something from social media, then I am part of the problem. Especially for covid and anti-anti-vaccine talk, silence equals death.

    Needless to say, I am not telling anyone else what to do; I’m only saying what I would like to do, if I am brave enough.

  64. First Moderna shot: slightly sore arm, a little tired the next day. I get my second on Wednesday and am a little nervous. My boyfriend and my parents sailed through being Pfizer’d so I hope I do fine. I too have had worse reactions to flu shots than to the first one.

  65. Pfizer/BioNTech 2 Thursday. Arm sorer than first time (painful to lift arm above shoulder) and sore for about 36 h rather than 18 h the first time. Tired the night after, but no other effects so far (four days later).

    As long as it works I don’t care too much.

  66. I got my first shot of Pfizer’s Pfinest in early April. Sore arm for a few days but not sore enough to make me reach for the Tylenol or Advil.

    Shot #2 scheduled for Friday morning. We’ll see what happens. I’d already taken that day off from work for reasons not even related to vaccine or illness.

  67. Canadian and team AstraZeneca. Like other Canadians only have had first dose — slight bit of soreness initially and after about 4 hours felt really tired with a mild headache. Ending up going to bed early and then napping next day off and on. But felt fine by the third day. Hit my husband a bit harder, he felt more aches and pains, but also was fine by third day. Second shot probably not until July, but can’t wait.

    Glad to have first shot and at least some immunity. But imagine we will still be using masks in public spaces well into the summer here in Canada.

  68. Also Team Pfizer, no reaction to speak of for either the first or second dose. I was aware of slight tenderness around the injection spot on the second dose but it was not a problem.
    A mild feeling of euphoria knowing I’d had both doses and walked around the rest of the day feeling bulletproof. But I’m sure that was just in my head and had nothing to do with the vaccine.

  69. Hi Athena! Glad you’re all vaxxed up! First Moderna shot, just minor arm pain. Second one…chills and fever for 24 hours. Slept lousy, sweated all night! Then woke up and was pretty much back to normal! TOTALLY WORTH IT, FOLKS!!!

  70. ArcLight, TY so much for posting about the “blood running down your arm” after your second shot! The same thing happened to my husband (nurse said she’d never seen anything like it) after his first Moderna, and he’s been mildly worried that maybe the vaccine ran out with the blood, especially after he had only moderate fatigue after Moderna2. When I read him your post-shot symptoms after Shot2, he felt relieved that maybe he got the full dose after all!

  71. Congratulations on getting vaccinated! :) I have had both Pfizer shots and am really glad I did. If you want to read about my side effects, I wrote about them on my blog (

    I have heard and read from several sources that the first dose of the vaccine can be worse than the second if you’ve already had Covid, so perhaps that was in effect for you? Either way, I’m glad you’re all better now. :)

  72. I had the tender arm, after shot two. I didn’t even want to bump it on the arm of our couch. Also, I hurt everywhere; low temperature, too.

    I would do it again. My wife and I are fully vaccinated, and we are going to wear our masks, too.

    Glad you’ve gotten your shots. Better days ahead!

  73. I’ve read that the…er…virulence of the reaction may have something to do both with the overall strength of one’s immune system (younger & stronger = more reaction), but also possibly if antibodies are already present (as they would be for you if you’ve actually had The Plague earlier).

    In my case (age 73), I had nothing worse than a sore arm and perhaps a minor deficiency in gorm (as in “he were e’er a gormless lout”) for a day the first time, just the sore arm the second time. The nice pharmacist at the supermarket(!) where I got my shots said they were really supposed to keep an eye on me for 15 minutes to make sure I wasn’t going to go all anaphylactic on them, but if I wanted to go ahead and do my food shopping right away they’d just monitor the PA for any calls of “cleanup, aisle four, shopper down.”

    Glad you’re now, as they say in Patrick O’Brien naval historical novels, “double-shotted.” And if you’re not familiar with those (also called the Aubrey / Maturin novels), try one–the writing is so excellent that it transcends the genre. Rather like some SF of which you might be aware…

  74. I’ve had an AstraZeneca shot, with no symptoms, nary a one; as I’m in the UK I have to wait until June for my second shot.

  75. I’m in House Pfizer. The first shot left my upper arm feeling slightly bruised for a few days; Mr. Atom hurt in the same way, but a little worse. The second did the same, but then almost exactly 24 hours after getting it, we both felt ill, with the fatigue and internal temperature symptoms of a mild to moderate flu; that lasted a couple of days, and then we were both fine. Now we’re two days from full immunity, yay!

  76. I had Pfizer and had relatively mild symptoms after both shots. A persistent headache, but not a severe one, and very tired. For what it’s worth, I have heard that the younger you are, the worse the side effects. This is anecdotal, not scientific. I am still masking since 1) it is required in my state, and 2) my family is not yet fully vaccinated and I don’t want to be a vector.

  77. I’m also Pfizer vaccinated. I had profound fatigue for a couple of weeks after the first dose, worse than my usual chronic fatigue low points, together with a sore arm. The second dose, I had only the sore arm for a day. Two siblings in their 60s had really bad symptoms from the second dose of Moderna, losing 2-3 pounds from loss of appetite, etc.
    It’s fascinating the variety of effects and severity. I expect Covid-19 will be newsworthy for years to come.

  78. I had my second shot of Pfizer last week and took the day off, as I’d been told at the first shot that the second would be the one to really knock me on my ass. With the first one, I’d had a sore shoulder/arm for a while, like with a lot of shots, but it was gone within a day or so. For the second one I don’t think it even lasted a day, and there weren’t any other side effects. So in the end it was mostly a nice reason to take the day off of work.

    I’m also planning on continuing to wear my mask until its lifted for everyone. I want to keep that social pressure up until we’re all safe. There’s already too many people in my area who wear their mask improperly or not at all, and I don’t want to contribute to the perception that that’s chill/okay.

  79. I had Phizer and had about 36 hours of discomfort each time; immediately sore arm and elevated temperatures.

    My siblings live in Ohio and their experience was more in line with yours, so I suspect that they got Moderna’d too.

  80. My wife and I got Moderna1 just over a week ago. Maybe an hour or so afterwards, it felt sore, like I’d gotten a tetanus shot. Not terrible, but I could tell something got shoved into my arm.
    Woke up the next day and it was a very different story. I felt like someone had taken a baseball bat to it. I could use my arm, but I just had this pain feeling without a visible bruise or anything. It was just sore.
    I touched the spot where the injection was 2 times, once to pull the band aid off and once after. I do no recommend that. Farkballs was it not a fun experience. By the next day (shot +2 days), it was slightly tender and barely noticeable.

  81. Team Pfizer. First shot, I’ve had more of a reaction to the flu shot to be honest. Maybe some stiffness, but the shot went into the shoulder I broke three years ago so it’s hard to judge.

    Second shot, I was tired enough to go to bed early that night, then woke up with chills. I eventually got back to sleep, but felt “off” all the next day and had a low-grade headache until the second day post-shot.

    Saturday is the end of the two week waiting period (and my 59th birthday). But since I’ve been working throughout the pandemic, that won’t make much difference — I’ve already been going out to eat for lunch (one of the local fast-food places has been really good about blocking off tables for social distancing) and interacting with customers. The city mask mandate runs through the end of the month, and I suspect my employer will continue to require masks.

  82. As David Goldfarb said, I wonder if your strong reaction to the first shot was because you had already been infected with Covid.

    For me, with Moderna, no problem with the first shot, +2.5f fever for two days with the second and missed one day of work. I just slept a lot, and was fine on the third day.

    Everybody’s different. I’m glad you’re now well.

    Welcome to the land of the vaccinated and Team Moderna!

  83. I got the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and I got really lucky. The only side effect was a mildly sore arm for three or four days. I get the same reaction when I get the flu shot, so it was no big deal.

    Glad your second shot didn’t bowl you over!

  84. Team Moderna here, though, being Canadian, I have only received my first shot. The evening on the day of the vaccine, I had some joint pain. The day after the vaccine, I had a fairly sore arm, but by two days out, that was pretty much gone. However, eight days after the shot, I got the “vaccine arm.” My arm between my elbow and shoulder swelled up, was red and itchy, and felt hot to the touch. I also had a resurgence of the joint pain. However, that only lasted for four days, and now my arm is back to normal. Most of my family got Moderna, too, but I was the only one to have this reaction. However, I would consider the reaction more of an annoyance than anything, and I will absolutely be getting my second shot as soon as I can (likely July or August).

  85. Got the J&J here; I’m in Delaware and the state actually had a pretty good setup for the shots at the DMV. Side effect wise I did get a sore arm and chills at night the first two evenings afterwards; nothing horribly serious thankfully. One tip for chills that helped with me; I use a hot pad (set low enough for skin contact) and basically tuck it under the arm, keeping the core temp up helps get the chills under control faster (at least the violent shaking part).

    Parents got their second Moderna shots a few days before I got the J&J, they were sleepy as heck but no other real side effects apparently.

  86. I just got my second dose of the Pfizer version yesterday. The first dose I didn’t notice anything different at all. After the second one, my arm is a little sore, but mostly just the over-used muscle feeling. My wife got the Moderna one a while back and the second dose sent her to bed for a day with many of the same symptoms you had.

    But now we’re both dosed up and ready to exist in the world again.

  87. Moderna:

    1st–no real symptoms, slightly sore arm, barely noticeable

    2nd shot–slightly sore arm, a bit drowsy after 12 hours, but nothing big.

    Take the vaccine people, just take it.

  88. Just had my first shot Sunday, Pfizer. Got the sniffles Sunday night. Woke up Monday and it felt like I had Covid again. I had it in October. I had chills, aches, headache and later in the evening, I had a slight fever. I feel pretty good today. It’s a good trade-off for the possibility of not going through what I had in October.

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