CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — As more people receive their COVID-19 vaccine, doctors remind everyone that feeling run down, or even feverish over the next day or two simply shows your immune system is responding, but what about people who don’t get any side effects at all? Is the vaccine also working for them?
After a COVID-19 shot, it’s not uncommon to get a headache, feel tired, or achy, especially a day or two after the second dose.
UNC infectious disease expert, Dr. David Wohl, says for most people, including him, side effects don’t last long.
He described his experience, “Like you were getting the flu for half a day and then you woke up the next day and you were fine.”
But if side effects show a good immune response, what about people who don’t get them?
“Don’t feel bad if you didn’t have side effects,” said Wohl. “You look like a lot of people who were in the trial and didn’t get COVID.”
Dr. Wohl says the vaccine worked well in clinical trials regardless of whether recipients experienced symptoms, and people simply react differently because our immune systems are different.
“Everyone’s immune system is as different as the differences between the way we look,” he explained. “So, my immune system reacts completely differently to a stimulation than your immune system.”
Whether or not you experience symptoms after the shots, the goal is teaching your immune system to protect you from severe symptoms if you’re exposed to the coronavirus after you’re vaccinated.
“You primed your body the first time, the second time you’re going to really respond to it, and the third time it’s already circulating. It’s going to nip it in the bud. It’s not even going to let it get as far as it got with a second dose,” said Wohl. “Your body’s being trained… to do better and better and better at dealing with this infection.”