VACCINE TEAM | Side effects after second shot; Testing and new strains

Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 5:49 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As we continue to watch vaccines roll out across Kentucky, we are here to answer your questions on the vaccine.

I had my first shot yesterday and got severe fatigue and a light fever. Should I expect worse side effects from the second shot?

Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control says side effects after your second shot may be more intense than the ones you experienced after your first shot.

The good news: Those side effects are normal signs that your body is building protection and should go away within a few days.

The most common side effects are pain, redness, and swelling on your arm where you got the shot. Throughout the rest of your body, you may experience tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea.

The Centers for Disease Control advises you to talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, or antihistamines, for any pain and discomfort you may experience.

Do the COVID-19 tests currently used identify the new strains?

It is possible some COVID-19 variants may evade detection by some tests, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

However, doctors at the Mayo Clinic say they’re still confident in the tests.

“The majority of tests that are being used in the U.S. look for at least two, sometimes three, different parts of the viral genome. So if there are mutations in one gene, there’s still a backup in the test to detect that variant,” said Dr. Matthew Binnicker, Ph.D./Laboratory Medicine and Pathology/Mayo Clinic. “I’m confident that testing for SARS-CoV-2, which is most commonly accomplished by PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing, is going to be able to detect these variant strains. However, we’re continuing to sequence these viruses, and we’re going to have to make updates to the tests to ensure that long term they’re still effective.”

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