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COVID-19 Vaccine: Second Dose, Side Effects and the Journey Ahead


By Leezel Tanglao

Tayo Project Director

May 1, 2021

Everyone warned me that the second dose had the potential to impact you more than the first shot.

Everyone’s body and immune system is different so it was hard to know if I would experience any of the known side effects this time around - chills, headaches, body aches, fatigue and fever.

After receiving my second dose of the Moderna COVID19 vaccine earlier this week, everyone was right.

Getting the Shot

After receiving my first shot at my local Costco in March, I returned to the same location. My appointment was automatically scheduled for April 26, 2021 - 28 after my first shot.

The process was just as seamless as the first time.

Related: COVID-19: Getting the Shot


After arriving 30 minutes before my scheduled appointment and turning in some paperwork, I was called into the room where health care workers were administering the shots.

As I sat down and rolled up my sleeve, the health care worker asked me for my vaccine card and a few other questions.

Before I knew it she injected me with my second dose of the Moderna vaccine. It went so fast compared to the first time that I didn’t get a chance to take a picture or video of the process.

Side Effects

The side effects didn’t kick in immediately. But after a few hours, the body chills and headaches hit me hard.  I never felt that sick in a long time. My arm was sore near the injection site.

In the days to follow, the body chills, headaches, fatigue continued.

I took Tylenol to help ease the headaches, which helped.

It’s important to note, per CDC guidance, it is not recommended to take any over the counter medicines such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, or antihistamines before getting the shot. As always, check with your doctor before taking any medications.

After a few days, I started to feel better. A few days of discomfort is worth the price and in two weeks I’ll be considered fully vaccinated.

Journey Ahead

As states open up vaccines to everyone, the COVID-19 pandemic is still an ever changing global crisis.

Related: COVID-19 Vaccinations in Los Angeles County: Taking my mom and aunts for their first shot - Part 1

COVID19 Vaccinations in Los Angeles County: Making the shot - Part 2

We are not in the clear yet.

It’s crucial we continue to take precautions, mask up and take care of each other as we race toward herd immunity.

This article was written and edited by the Tayo editorial desk and has been reviewed by an independent panel of subject matter experts.

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