Does a previous COVID-19 infection cause worse vaccine side effects?

Vaccine side effects different if you've had COVID-19?
Vaccine side effects different if you've had COVID-19?
Updated: Feb. 12, 2021 at 10:48 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - COVID-19 vaccines are reported to cause a variety of different side effects after both shots, with many of the side effects being experienced after the second dose.

Dr. Karen Landers with the state health department said side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine mean it is working, but she said it’s hard to tell who will experience side effects and who won’t.

“It’s just really related to how a person’s immune system responds,” Dr. Landers said. “Probably most people who have had the vaccine have had a sore arm. Some studies show a very large percentage, 70-80%, will have headache and a smaller number of people will have muscle aches.”

But, Dr. Landers said having had COVID-19 before doesn’t really change your chances of experiencing side effects or not.

“I really have not seen that in any scientific literature,” she said.

She said right now, the only impact having the virus before has on the vaccine is that you have natural antibodies for a few months.

“If someone has had COVID disease, they really can wait 90 days before getting the vaccine.”

Landers said more people experience side effects after the second dose, but she doesn’t know if people will experience symptoms again if a booster shot is eventually required. She said right now, it is unknown if COVID-19 vaccines will require a booster shot.

“I don’t think we have any scientific literature to really indicate this,” she said. “We can not say anything related to the side effects of any potential booster doses.”

Landers said the vaccine side effects aren’t as bad as what can happen from the COVID-19 virus.

“The side effects are far far less than the risk of COVID-19 and the potential for severe illness, hospitalization, and death.”

Health Officials says side effects mean your body is building up immunity to the virus itself, but they say it is also okay if you don’t experience any side effects from the vaccine, it is still working.

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