Doctor: Younger people experience more COVID-19 vaccine side effects

Wisconsinites receiving their COVID-19 vaccine might notice younger people experiencing a stronger response to the vaccine than those of older age. Experts say this is all normal and a sign the vaccine is working.

Age has a lot to do with the number of side effects you get after dosage. There are a few things doctors recommend you do before you get your vaccine, to help ease some symptoms.  

Medical experts agree the COVID-19 vaccine is our shot at ending this pandemic.  

As vaccines open up to the general population, research shows younger, people are experiencing more side effects that are common after their second dose.  

"Your body knows what this protein is and knows to start to fight it off," Dr. Molly Cousin said.

Dr. Molly Cousin

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the common side effects after a dose are pain, redness, swelling, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea. These are likely to appear on day two after the vaccine.  

Dr. Molly Cousin with Sixteenth Street Community Health Center says younger people ages 16 to 25 are reporting more side effects because they have a more active immune system.  

"They’re younger they’re healthier, their immune system hasn’t been exposed to as many things through the course of their lifetime, so their immune system is primed and ready to go," she said.

Doctor cousin tells us what she has noticed in her patients.  

"I’ve been lucky to have patients who have had both doses of the vaccines, and generally, it’s fairly mild a little bit of pain in your arm is most common," she said.

She says side effects are signs the vaccine is working. But there are a few things you can do to ease these symptoms.  

"Definitely make sure you are well hydrated before and after your vaccine, taking time to rest if you need to, and if you have any pain taking hot compresses or cold compresses, can help. If you are having headaches and chills, taking some Tylenol can help as well," Dr. Cousin said.

She says any discomfort is temporary and does not compare to the protection the vaccine provides.   

"You may be out of commission for a day or so, but really you are helping prevent yourself from going to the hospital if you would get COVID," she said. 

People 16 and older are currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Wisconsin.  

At the Northwest Health Center and Southside Center people can walk in for their COVID-19 shot. 


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