Dr. Fauci Says He Had These Side Effects From His Second Vaccine Dose

The infectious disease expert received his final dose just a few days ago.

The coronavirus vaccine has allowed a certain sense of relief for the future of the pandemic, but some are worried about the side effects they may experience after getting the shot. Though side effects are certainly possible, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) assures that they are no cause for panic. In fact, minor adverse reactions are "normal signs that your body is building protection," the CDC says. And major health officials who have already gotten the vaccine have been very vocal about their side effects to help others understand what they should expect. Recently, Anthony Fauci, MD, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, told White House reporters that he had experienced more side effects after getting the second dose of the vaccine. Read on to find out which side effects Fauci had, and for more on vaccine reactions, These Are the Side Effects of the New Johnson & Johnson Vaccine.

Fauci said fatigue was his biggest side effect after the second dose of the COVID vaccine.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks at the National Press Club in Washington.
Alamy

On Jan. 21, Fauci told White House reporters that he had gotten his second vaccine dose two days prior, as tweeted by Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Jacobs.

"I was hoping that I wouldn't get too knocked out. I did for about 24 hours. Now I'm fine," he explained. According to Jacobs, Fauci also said he was "a little achy" and "chilly," but not actually sick from the vaccine. And for more insight from this infectious disease expert, Dr. Fauci Says You Need One of These at Home to Avoid COVID.

Fatigue wasn't a side effect Fauci experienced after his first dose.

dr. fauci getting first dose of COVID vaccine
CNN

Fauci received his first dose of the Moderna vaccine on Dec. 22, and he also discussed his side effects then. Per CNN, Fauci said he only experienced some aching in his arm at that time.

"The only thing I had was about maybe six to 10 hours following the vaccine, I felt a little bit of an ache in my arm that lasted maybe 24 hours or a little bit more, then went away and completely, other than that, I felt no other deleterious type of effects," he said during a Dec. 27 interview on CNN's State of the Union. "It was really quite good. It was even as good or better than an influenza vaccine. So, nothing serious at all." And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Side effects are more common after the second dose.

Healthcare worker injecting COVID vaccine in female patient's arm at medical clinic.
iStock

Side effects may be more common and more severe after the second COVID vaccine dose. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), more people experienced side effects from their second dose of the vaccine in both the Pfizer and Moderna trials. In an interview with KY3, CoxHealth's infectious disease doctor Robin Trotman, MD, said this stronger reaction is expected because the second dose is what's really doing the work to boost your immune system. And for more on the vaccine, If You Take These OTC Meds, You Have to Stop Before Getting the Vaccine.

And there are several side effects you should prepare for when getting either dose.

Mid adult female doctor at home visit giving a vaccine to a senior patient
iStock

The CDC says you could experience multiple side effects after the vaccine, regardless of which dose you're getting. On the arm where you got the shot, you may have a little bit of pain and swelling, and throughout the rest of your body, you could experience fever, chills, tiredness, and headache. However, the agency says these side effects should last, at most, a few days. You only need to contact your doctor if the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours, or if your side effects don't seem to start disappearing after a few days. And for more coronavirus news, The White House Just Mandated Masks in These 5 Places.

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