The Vaccine Mom Talks to Her Friend About Her Experience with the COVID-19 Vaccine
Jan 14, 2021

In this video for the Shot of Prevention blog, Taryn (AKA “The Vaccine Mom”) interviews friend and emergency physician, Stephanie, about her experience with the COVID-19 vaccine, what side effects people should expect, and why some reactions are actually a sign the body is responding well to the vaccine. Read below for the full transcript. 

Taryn:

Hi, I’m Taryn, and I’m the Vaccine Mom. And I’m talking to my friend, Stephanie, who is an ER doctor. She’s going to be getting the COVID-19 vaccine tomorrow. Hey, Stephanie.

Stephanie:

Hey.

Taryn:

Hi. So how are you feeling about getting the new Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine tomorrow?

Stephanie:

I can say that I have never been more excited to get a shot ever.

Taryn:

Yay. It is so exciting. So I want to check in with you tomorrow and just see how you’re doing, see how it felt. And you can just let us all know how it went.

Stephanie:

Perfect. Sounds good.

Taryn:

Hey Stephanie, so you got the COVID-19 shot today. So how did it go?

Stephanie:

It was great. It actually hurt less than I think my flu shot did this year.

Taryn:

That’s awesome. Okay. So why don’t I check back in with you tomorrow and see how you’re feeling?

Stephanie:

Perfect. Sounds good.

Taryn:

Hey Stephanie, so this is the day after you got your COVID shot. How are you feeling?

Stephanie:

I feel okay. Last night I was a little bit sore and tired. Just went to sleep today, had maybe a mild headache and a little bit achy, but nothing out of the ordinary. And I know that these are totally normal feelings to have after a shot. Just like we see with kids that are a little bit fussy, things like that. And I know it’s just my body mounting the immune response that it’s supposed to. So all good things.

Taryn:

Right. Have you had a fever or anything?

Stephanie:

No fever at all.

Taryn:

Okay. That’s good. And then how does the injection site look?

Stephanie:

The injection site — there is a little bit of redness and a little bit of swelling. It doesn’t bother me unless I reach for something or move my arm. But if you touch it, it’s a little bit tender.

Taryn:

Okay. All right. Well, good to know. So things are okay with you right now it sounds like and —

Stephanie:

So far so good.

Taryn:

Yay. So why don’t I check with you in a couple [of] days and see how you’re feeling? You can let us all know.

Stephanie:

Sounds good.

Taryn:

Hey Stephanie. So I got your picture the other day with your local vaccine — little vaccine reaction. Do you want to tell me a little bit about what went on?

Stephanie:

Sure. So on the first day I had a small local reaction that was about 24 hours post-vaccine. And then actually at 48 hours, it looked a little bit worse. I measured it, it was four and a quarter centimeters. And according to the vaccine guidelines that still only qualified as a mild local reaction. So it was just a little bit sore, a little bit red. And by yesterday — so 72 hours post-vaccine — it was actually significantly improved, and 48 hours post-vaccine is when you should see the kind of the peak of the reaction. So everything was kind of on course for what could be expected.

Taryn:

Okay. So that’s good news. So do you have any more symptoms right now?

Stephanie:

No, I feel completely back to normal, and I feel great.

Taryn:

That’s super good news. So I hope everybody gets their COVID vaccines soon. That would be great. And I’m so glad that you’re feeling well and that you spent some time talking with all of us.

Stephanie:

No problem. Glad I could help.

[A few weeks later]

Taryn:

Hey, Stephanie.

Stephanie:

Hey.

Taryn:

Hey. So do you want to briefly describe the difference between getting that first vaccine and the second vaccine as far as reactions went for you?

Stephanie:

Sure. So I got my two vaccines about three weeks apart. The first vaccine I experienced what was considered a local mild reaction. Um, so I had a red spot on my arm. It was kind of tender and a little bit swollen, lasted — peaked at about 48 hours. And it lasted for about a week in total. And I had a little bit of a lymph node under my armpit, which all expected normal immune reactions. My second vaccine, I had zero local reaction. I switched arms, so I got nothing, no redness, no swelling. I did feel a little bit achy, maybe some mild chills, but overall, nothing to complain about. And I felt pretty good.

Taryn:

That’s amazing that you didn’t have any sort of reaction with the second one, which is really good news. So I want to know, do you know if your colleagues had a similar experience or something different with the second vaccine?

Stephanie:

Sure. So some of my colleagues actually experienced pretty similar to me. Some did experience a local reaction on the second dose that they didn’t have on the first dose. And a few actually experienced temperatures up to 101 and 102 and some shaking chills, but by and large, about 48 hours after, they were completely back to normal, most experienced aches and kind of headaches and just feeling not a hundred percent well, but again, at 48 hours, most people are reporting that they feel a hundred percent better, even those that had fevers and chills and felt pretty bad for a couple of days.

Taryn:

Okay. Well, that’s good to know that only takes a couple of things to feel better. So we know that we need two shots for immunity with this COVID vaccine. Would you do that second shot again? We need that second shot. Would you do it again?

Stephanie:

Absolutely. I would definitely recommend when you’re getting your second shot, plan on having a day off after, if you’re able to prepare, have plenty of fluids on hand to stay hydrated, Tylenol and ibuprofen, if you’re able to take those and just plan on having an easy chill day. Don’t plan on doing anything crazy for a day or two after.

Taryn:

Okay. So those people that have some fears of side effects just need to kind of plan ahead and just know that they need to relax and be ready. So that’s great. I think hopefully this is going to reassure people that, getting that second dose isn’t as bad as some people make it out to be. So let’s hope that people get that dose. It’s really important for immunity. Thanks so much for talking with us today.

Stephanie:

Yeah, no problem.

 

Like this video from The Vaccine Mom? Watch more of Taryn’s videos on Shot of Prevention or on Vaccinate Your Family’s YouTube channel, such as her videos on aluminum in vaccines and whether natural immunity is really better than vaccination


Do you have questions about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines or COVID vaccine side effects? That’s OK! Vaccine Your Family (VYF) has answers:

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