CDC: Booster shot side effects similar to those seen after second vaccine dose

A booster dose of an mRNA vaccine resulted in mild to moderate side effects similar to the side effects seen in the people who received a two-dose regime of the vaccine, according to a study from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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The study included responses from immunocompromised people who, at the time, were the only ones allowed to get a booster shot. The analysis used data through the CDC’s voluntary phone-based surveillance system between Aug. 12 to Sept. 19.

The information was collected from people who received a third dose of a vaccine matching the type of vaccine they had originally taken. Of the 12,591 registrants who completed a survey, 79.4% reported they had a “local” reaction – such as pain or rash at the injection site. More than 74% reported a systemic reaction – such as a headache, body aches or fever.

Those numbers were similar to what was reported after a second dose of the vaccine. Of those participating in the survey, 77.6% reported a local reaction after the second dose of a vaccine and 76.5% reported a systemic reaction after the second dose.

Only 6.7% of those who responded to the CDC phone system reporting said they had severe pain that prevented them from doing daily activities.

Director of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, reported the findings in a White House briefing Tuesday.

“COVID-19 vaccine booster doses so far are well tolerated,” Walensky said. “The frequency and type of side effects were similar to those seen after the second vaccine doses and were mostly mild or moderate and short-lived.”

More than 3 million Americans have received a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine since Aug. 13, the CDC reported.