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CDC Says Booster Shot Side Effects Similar to Original Vaccine

Unvaccinated health workers
The CDC has found that the side effects from the coronavirus booster shot are much like those from the original vaccination. Credit: Facebook/Pfizer Corporation

The side effects that are produced as a result of a booster shot are similar to those that occurred after original coronavirus vaccinations, according to a new study by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The CDC says that the most common side effects experienced after the third shot do not appear to be any different from those already noted in the initial round of inoculations.

That new data coming out of the study, which was published this week in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, collated information from almost 12,600 individuals who reported on side effects experienced after getting the Pfizer booster subsequent to their completion of the initial mRNA-based vaccine series.

The subjects used “V-Safe,” the voluntary CDC survey that can be completed with a smartphone, between August 12 and September 19.

The application has a trigger that will let the CDC know if there has been a problem requiring medical attention after a vaccine shot. If that has been indicated by a trial participant, they will be called by someone at the CDC for followup.

THE Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed immunocompromised individuals in the US to receive a booster shot as part of an update to the emergency use authorization for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

As of September 23, the FDA has allowed yet more people to begin receiving the boosters, updating Pfizer’s emergency use authorization status. Although only authorized for immunocompromised people during the time of the study, the CDC states that it believes others actually received the third shot during this time period as well.

Approximately half of the subjects in the study received three doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech product, with the other half getting three doses of the Moderna inoculation.

Most study participants used same firm’s product for initial series and booster shot

Some people received a different vaccine for their booster than the one they had as their first vaccine series, but most participants had the same vaccine for all three shots.

Some of the most common side effects after booster shots are the following: Pain at the injection site was reported in 66.6% in participants who received three Pfizer doses, and 75.9% in participants who received three Moderna doses.

About half, or 51%, of the Pfizer vaccine recipients reported fatigue while 61.8% had the same side effect after receiving the Moderna product.

Headaches were less common among Pfizer recipients, at 38.4%, while 49% reported the same effect after receiving the Moderna shot.

Muscle aches were also slightly less common with Pfizer, at 36.3%, and the same effect reported by 49.8% of the Moderna recipients. Joint pain was reported by less than one quarter of Pfizer recipients, at 23%, while slightly more, or 33%, reported the same for Moderna. Fever was reported as a side effect by 22.2% of those who got the Pfizer shot while 36.4% reported the same for Moderna.

Other reported side effects, which occurred less often in the subjects, included chills, swelling and redness at the injection site, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, rash.

One difference between the first inoculation series and the booster shot was revealed when subjects reported that they experienced more reactions at the injection site after their booster shot than they had after their second inoculation.

However, study participants also reported fewer systemic reactions, including fatigue and headaches, after their booster shot than they experienced after the completion of their initial vaccine series.

However, approximately one quarter (22%) of those who had the Pfizer booster and 35% of Moderna inoculation recipients said that they had suffered side effects after their booster that were so severe that they couldn’t carry out their normal daily activities.

This number is just under the amount of people who reported similar effects after their second dose.

The CDC says that using this data enables them to predict that side effects from the third shot will most likely be similar to those experienced after the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

The CDC notes that there is no way to include data from every single individual who has received the booster shot so far since the survey is a voluntary one.

The V-Safe app also has no information regarding a person’s immunological status, so at present there is no way to tell if those who are immunocompromised or who have other health conditions suffer from a higher rate of side effects than others.

So far, this is the only research extant on what could occur after receiving a third coronavirus shot; the results point to no unexpected developments occurring after the booster.

The CDC reminds the public that all these side effects are for the most part mild and they are temporary, while all the vaccines on the US market provide long-lasting protection against the coronavirus.

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