Vaccine: Expert discusses getting second jab before 12 weeks
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Research continues to shed light on the effects of the impact the coronavirus vaccines have on the body. As more arms have become jabbed, numerous side effects have been documented. While these effects can be disquieting, the public health message has been clear: side effects indicate the vaccine is stimulating a robust immune response.
A new study sought to establish whether the reverse is true: a lack of side effects equates to a weaker immune response.
To gather their findings, the research team tested 206 employees from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for antibodies against the coronavirus before and after they got the Pfizer vaccine.
Antibodies are proteins produced as part of the body’s immune response to infection.
Participants were all healthy, not immunocompromised, and did not test positive for COVID-19 at the time they were enrolled.
The researchers also had participants complete a questionnaire about their vaccine-induced side effects after each dose, measuring 12 symptoms’ duration and severity on a scale of 0 (not at all) to 4 (a lot).
They then conducted antibody tests 37 days on average after their second dose.
When comparing participants’ antibody results with their symptom scores, the authors wrote: “We found no correlation between vaccine-associated symptom severity scores and vaccine-induced antibody titers one month after vaccination.”
They added that the duration of side effects after the first and second Pfizer doses also “revealed no association” with antibody response.
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“[A] lack of correlation was observed even when adjusting for age, weight, and sex,” the authors wrote.
In their concluding remarks, they said: “Ultimately, the researchers concluded that a “lack of post-vaccination symptoms following receipt of the BNT162b2 [Pfizer] vaccine does not equate to lack of vaccine-induced antibodies one month after vaccination.”
The finding has two key implications, the researchers noted.
“First, individuals that exhibit few symptoms after vaccination can be reassured that this does not mean the vaccine ‘didn’t work.’ Indeed, in this cohort individuals with few to no symptoms were just as likely to have developed strong antibody responses as individuals that exhibited substantial symptoms.
“Second, the immunological pathways responsible for mRNA vaccine-induced [side effects] may not be required for development of robust antibody responses.”
The study was published to a pre-print website medRxiv on July 2 and is yet to be peer-reviewed.
Pfizer vaccine side effects – what to expect
Most side effects are mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:
- A sore arm from the injection
- Feeling tired
- A headache
- Feeling achy
- Feeling or being sick.
“You may also get a high temperature or feel hot or shivery one or two days after your vaccination,” explains the NHS.
According to the health body, you can take painkillers such as paracetamol if you need to.
It adds: “If you have a high temperature that lasts longer than two days, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, you may have COVID-19.
“Stay at home and get a test.”
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