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Older woman getting an injection


Three very effective vaccines against COVID-19 (caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2) are available. Two (Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) are authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and one (Comirnaty by Pfizer/BioNTech) has been approved. Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna use mRNA, and Johnson & Johnson uses a modified virus. Here is what you need to know about them.


  • Unless contraindicated, strongly consider getting any of the vaccines after talking with your doctor — current data shows they can help protect you
    To find out more about who can get the vaccine and who should not be vaccinated, read about whether pre-existing conditions should stop you from getting the vaccine.
  • The vaccine is free (for now)
    The cost of the vaccine will be covered by Medicare and most insurance plans, some even if received outside your network. However, certain alternative healthcare plans (ex: short-term limited duration insurance) may charge a copay. People who are uninsured can be vaccinated for free. Their healthcare providers will need to submit a reimbursement claim to the Provider Relief Fund.
  • Some members of the U.S. workforce will need to get vaccinated or show negative tests results at least weekly
    Those required to be vaccinated will also be guaranteed paid time off to get their shots.
  • You can't get COVID or spread it from the vaccine
    The mRNA vaccines don't contain virus. They instruct your body to make a protein found on the virus that triggers an immune reaction, creating immunity to the virus. The mRNA never enters the cell's nucleus, so it never interacts with or becomes part of your DNA. It also doesn't stick around inside the body — it's broken down once the protein is made. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a genetically-modified adenovirus (which cannot replicate in humans) to carry a piece of DNA into the nuclei of cells, where it is read and copied into mRNA, which then, like the mRNA vaccines, instructs the cell to make the SARS-Cov-2 spike protein. DNA from the genetically-modified adenovirus (Ad26.COV2.S) is not integrated into the genome of the person being vaccinated.
  • Get the 2nd shot if you get an mRNA vaccine!
    While the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine requires only one shot, the mRNA vaccines require two shots. You may only get about 52% protection between the first and second mRNA shot but 94% to 95% after the second. Come back about 21 days later for Pfizer and 28 days later for Moderna second doses (while the second dose should be given as close to this recommended interval as possible, it's okay to get it up to 4 days early or up to 6 weeks after the first dose. Even if you miss the extended interval, you should still get your second shot, although you'll have less protection during that time). If you get a first shot, use v-safe to set a reminder on a smartphone for when to get second shot, as well as to reports side effects.
  • Don't assume you're protected from COVID-19 immediately after receiving a shot
    High protection occurs about 2 weeks after a single dose of the J&J vaccine (although additional protection may occur at 4 weeks or later) or 2 weeks after the 2nd dose of mRNA vaccine. Don't assume you're protected during the 21 to 28 days between the first and second mRNA COVID-19 vaccine shots.
  • Be prepared for side effects, but don't worry if you don't experience any
    Injection site pain (typical for any vaccine) and flu-like symptoms are the most common side effects for any of the vaccines. These side effects are typically short-lived, and some people don't experience any. Rarely, severe side effects occur.
  • Get a booster when you're eligible
    Due to waning protection, all adults who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines may get any authorized booster at least 6 months after completion of the primary series, and those who received the J&J vaccine should do the same at least 2 months after vaccination. Certain groups of people are specifically encouraged to get a booster.

Sign in now to learn more, including:

  • How, when and where to get the vaccine
  • How the vaccines compare (on efficacy, side effects, dosing, ingredients and availability)
  • Whether people with specific medical conditions may be vaccinated, including those with active infection or a history of COVID-19, exposure to COVID-19, shingles, cancer, heart conditions or pulmonary disease, genetic heart conditions, anemia, use of blood thinners or statins, history of immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus erythematosus) or taking immunosuppressants (including corticosteroids such as prednisone), chronic inflammatory diseases (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis), splenectomy or functional asplenia, liver disease or transplant, kidney disease (including those on dialysis) or transplant, psoriasis, eczema, multiple sclerosis (MS), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), a compromised immune system (including use of immunosuppressants such as corticosteroids), Parkinson's disease, peripheral neuropathy, migraine, allergies or a history of allergic reactions, a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome or Bell's palsy, dermal (skin) fillers (including those placed recently or years ago), osteoporosis, very frail elderly, before or after surgery, pregnancy, or breast-feeding
  • If pain relievers / fever reducers can be used to lessen vaccine side effects, and which of these medicines worst best for specific side effects
  • If antihistamines (e.g., Benadryl) can be used to reduce the risk of allergic reactions
  • Behavior changes that may improve vaccine immune response, including foods or supplements to potentially boost vaccine response (and those that should be avoided)
  • If the vaccines protect against new variants, including Delta
  • Why people with a history of COVID should still get the vaccine
  • If vaccines make you test positive on a COVID-19 test
  • If people concerned about the mRNA vaccines should consider getting the J&J vaccine

As each state in the U.S. is in charge of its own vaccine roll out, we've put together the following table to help you get information on what's happening in your state:

State-by-State Vaccine Information
State Vaccination Website Information Provided
Links to schedule vaccine or be notified when eligible; hotline for questions
Links to confirm eligibility, find a vaccine, browse appointments; hotline for questions
Current phases by county; link to schedule vaccine; hotline for questions
Current phase; eligibility; estimated start dates of later phases; link to information about vaccine sites

Quick Locator:
(A community-led website)
Who's currently eligible; link to schedule vaccine or be notified when eligible; hotline for questions
Current phase; eligibility; estimated start dates of later phases; link to find a vaccine site; hotline for questions
Who's currently eligible; estimated start dates of later phases; links to find and schedule a vaccine
Who's currently eligible; link to find a vaccine site; information about upcoming phases
District of Columbia
Link to register / schedule vaccine if eligible; link to be notified when eligible

Quick Locator:
(A volunteer-led website)
Who's currently eligible; links to pre-register and find a vaccine site
Who's currently eligible; links to vaccine sites
Who's currently eligible; link to register; estimated start dates and eligibility of later phases
Who's currently eligible; estimated start dates and eligibility of later phases; vaccine sites and links to schedule vaccine
Current phase; who's eligible in each phase
Who's currently eligible; links to find a vaccine site and register
Who's currently eligible; link with information to schedule vaccine
Link with information about phases and eligibility for each phase
Link to find out when eligible and to find a vaccine sites; description of phases
Who's currently eligible; list of vaccine sites
Who's currently eligible and who's eligible in upcoming phases; expected dates for phases; link to vaccine sites
Who's currently eligible; link to list of vaccine sites

Quick Locator:
(Run by a software developer)
Links to confirm eligibility and find and schedule vaccine

Quick Locator:
(A community-led website)
Link to find a vaccine site by county
Who's currently eligible; link to find a vaccine site
Who's currently eligible; link to find a vaccine site
Link to confirm eligibility and to find a vaccine site
Who's currently eligible; links to local health departments
Who's covered in each phase; estimated start dates of each phase; link to register
Link to confirm eligibility or be notified when eligible; hotline for information
New Hampshire
Current phase; link to confirm eligibility; link to register; hotline for information
New Jersey
Help scheduling an appointment; hotline for information
New Mexico
Who's currently eligible; link to register; hotline for information
New York

Quick Locators for NY City only:
(A volunteer-led effort)
(Run by a software developer)
Link to confirm eligibility and schedule a vaccine
North Carolina
Link to confirm eligibility; link to find a vaccine site; hotline for information
North Dakota
Vaccine sites and eligibility by county
Link to check eligibility and make an appointment if eligible
Who's currently eligible; who's eligible in upcoming phases; link to pre-register
Link to confirm eligibility or be notified when eligible; link to schedule vaccine
Who's currently eligible; who's eligible in upcoming phases; links to vaccine sites
Rhode Island
Who's currently eligible; estimated start dates for upcoming phases; links to vaccine sites
South Carolina
Who's currently eligible; who's eligible in upcoming phase; links to find a vaccine site
South Dakota
Links to current phase; eligibility and estimated start date of later phases; vaccine locations by county
Vaccine information by county; link to confirm eligibility; link to vaccine sites

Quick Locator:
(Crowdsourced information)
Who's currently eligible; link to vaccine sites by county
Who's currently eligible; link to schedule vaccine with local health department
Who's currently eligible; links to schedule vaccine
Link to eligibility by county; tool to confirm eligibility; hotline for information

Quick Locator:
(A volunteer-led website)
Who's currently eligible; link to find a vaccine site; tool to confirm eligibility and be notified when eligible
West Virginia
Who's currently eligible; link to pre-register
Who's currently eligible; vaccine sites for eligible groups
Who's currently eligible by county; links to pre-register

If you live in Puerto Rico, you can get information about the vaccine roll-out from the Departamento de Salud - Programa de Vacunación.

If you live in Canada, you can get information about the vaccine roll-out by province and territory from Canada's Covid-19 vaccines website.

Sign in now for more details about the COVID-19 vaccines.

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November 7, 2021

It is encouraging to see such a large boost in IgG antibody levels among this sample of older adults following a third (booster) dose of the Pfizer vaccine. However, IgG levels do not translate directly into probability estimates of contracting Covid-19. Over time, the immune system can get "smarter" and therefore will provide greater immunity with lower antibody levels.
November 7, 2021

That is true. Please note however, that not only did antibody levels increase but, as discussed in our write-up, those who "received a booster dose of Pfizer had only 21% the risk of infection and 10% the risk of severe illness as those who did not receive a booster".

November 7, 2021

There seems to be a discrepancy in the information describing the impact of covid vaccine boosters:
"...for people fully vaccinated with Pfizer, a Moderna booster increased antibody titers about 17-fold compared to 15-fold with Pfizer..." vs. "a small study in Israel among 97 people aged 60 and over (median age of 70) who had received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine series about six months earlier showed that getting a Pfizer booster increased IgG antibody levels more than 50-fold..." Is it 15- or 50-fold?
November 7, 2021

There reason for the apparent discrepancy is that the first study focused on adults 18 and older (as noted in our discussion), while the second study focused only on older people. As older people would normally have lower starting antibody levels than younger adults, the large increase from the booster over pre-booster level is much greater for older people. The increase would likely still be still be large for younger adults, but not as great. In short, the two studies focused on different populations.

November 7, 2021

I had my Pfizer booster 3 days ago. Aside from feeling like someone punched me in my arm (which I also got with my first two doses, as well as with my flu shot), I had no side effects… EXCEPT I’ve noticed that my morning preprandial blood sugars have been about 35 points higher than usual for the past three days. (I have type-2 diabetes.) I don’t think this happened after my first two doses.

November 7, 2021

I see boosters as socially responsible efforts to limit the spread of the virus. I think we all have something to gain by doing what we can to avoid becoming asymptomatic carriers. We need to protect what we can of a health care system that's weakest in the area of public health. J & J reported a significant drop after two months in antibodies. That may not reflect t-cell resistance, but it will increase the likelihood of becoming a carrier. Moderna did not test the 50mcg dose, but they did test 25mcg, and found it insufficient. Moderna isn't exactly guessing - they are extrapolating. Trying to balance effectiveness while reducing the burden of side effects.

October 31, 2021

I read the section on your website that people taking corticosteroids may develop 10 fold fewer antibodies from the vaccine than other people. Do you know if this applies to all people taking prednisone, for example, or only those who are taking a daily dose of higher than 20 mg. Will individuals taking 5 mg or less be affected in the same way or will they achieve a stronger response.
November 3, 2021

Even low doses, such as 5 mg, may reduce the antibody response to the mRNA vaccines, as noted in our answer above:

October 11, 2021

It would be interesting if they could further break down the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine based upon the time of the day it was given.

October 3, 2021

Is there any feedback from persons who got the booster shot after the second Pfizer vaccine? I am so conflicted about getting the booster even though I’m entitled to it because I had such severe side effects from the second Pfizer vaccination.

November 10, 2021

My husband and I both got Pfizer booster shots 6 months after receiving the 2nd Pfizer shot. Neither of us experienced any side effects with either the initial shots or the booster. We are both over 80.

September 15, 2021

I am post menopausal and had a light period for 1 day 1 week after getting first dose of Pfizer in December. No other side effects

September 12, 2021

What about changes to women's menstrual cycles? Thousands of women have reported unexpected periods, longer than usual periods (including 30+ days), and increased cramping and pain. Many women say it is the worst period of their lives. It is so hard to find information on this side effect. Many researchers and doctors are tellin women it's all in their heads, or it's stress. Women's symptoms are too often dismissed and ignored.
September 16, 2021
September 5, 2021

Does anyone have experience getting the vaccine with peripheral neuropathy? I’m terrified the vaccine may flare up my symptoms. My neurologist has seen it go both ways with his patients. My neuropathy is idiopathic.

September 12, 2021

I have idiopathic neuropathy and have had the Pfizer
vaccine. I did not or have not had any flare up of symptoms. I still have burning in my feet.

September 19, 2021

Thank you! And sorry you have to suffer this awful problem as well

October 3, 2021

I have polyneuropathy and have experienced no side effects from the vaccine.

October 3, 2021

My neuropathy is also idiopathic in a strange distribution, although it may have been induced by vitamin B6 toxicity. Had two shots of Pfizer and one of Moderna. No changes that I've noticed
October 4, 2021

You can find information about vitamin B6 toxicity and neuropathy in the B-6 section of our B Vitamin Supplements Review

August 15, 2021

Are there studies of patients receiving multiple vaccines (as an example getting Pfizer and getting Johnson&Johnson) instead of receiving vaccine from a single source? If so did it increase immunity?
August 24, 2021

Please see the section "Can different COVID vaccines be used together?" in the answer above:

August 13, 2021

Why did Consumer Lab not mention all the deaths that have occurred after people got vaccinated?
August 13, 2021

We have been reporting these figures, which are obtainable on the CDC website, and have also been updating them. Here is a link to the section in our answer:

August 12, 2021

Did anyone else develop shingles within two weeks after having second vaccine? This was Moderna.

August 23, 2021

Yes Linda my mother in law did and she also had other significant side effects as well. Please report this to VAERS so the CDC can get an accurate account of these side effects.

August 29, 2021

doesn't mean it was caused by the vaccine. vaccine reactions usually happen within hours or a few days. (i ran a vaccine clinic for 3 years). shingles is caused by a reawakened varicella virus (chickenpox) unlikely that any vaccine would do that two weeks later. you might also talk to your medical provider about a shingle vaccine?

August 8, 2021

I am very interested in knowing if asymptomatic carriers of Covid-19 are able to transmit the disease. I cannot imagine how they would but I am open to some data on the issue.
August 24, 2021

Please see the section "Can You Spread COVID If You Are Asymptomatic?" in the answer above:

August 4, 2021

I have immune system deficiencies, including impaired Tcell production, & am considering getting the Pfizer vax. QUESTION for ConsumerLab: is there an at-home test, or any reliable test, to determine the level of antibodies I develop after getting the vax? How can I know if the vax gives me 'weak' or 'strong' antibody response, & whether I may need a 'booster' more than other people?
August 6, 2021

As we note above, antibody testing to assess for immunity following vaccination is not recommended for anyone at this time for several reasons:

However, for anyone who chooses to be tested, it is important to select a test that looks for the right antibodies and that is quantitative or semi-quantitative. For details about which tests fill these criteria, see our CL Answer about testing for COVID:

August 19, 2021

I also have an immune deficiency. Received second Pfizer vaccine end of March. In June I requested a spike protein antibody test from GP. There is a lot of confusion, even amongst doctors, about these tests. A regular antibody test will not demonstrate whether or not the vaccine has worked; it only tells you whether or not you have had a previous Covid infection and those antibody levels. If you want to see antibodies to the vaccine, you need to get the spike protein antibody test, but at this time there is no guidance as to what is a good number. You will get a number up to 2500, or it will say above 2500. Mine was 495. So I know there was some response but not how well I am protected. BTW, if I were to do it again, I would get the Moderna vaccine, because it is more effective against the Delta variant.

August 4, 2021

I had my second Moderna shot 3/13/21. Six months later is Sept/ 21. What is the latest information on booster shots?
August 24, 2021
August 2, 2021

I have read from various sources (not necessarily reliable) that currently there is no test for the Delta variant. Is that true?
August 4, 2021

Please see the section "Can COVID-19 Tests Identify Which Variant Caused an Infection?" in the answer above.

August 19, 2021

If you have the delta variant, you will test positive with a regular Covid test. Prevalence of delta variant is determined by genetic sequencing of random samples, then extrapolating to the larger population. There are not separate tests for different variants.
August 19, 2021

Yes, that is correct.

August 2, 2021

I'm a 66 yo male, in good health. 5'5" 145 lbs. Eat healthily, and exercise regularly.
I'm getting ready to fly from Oklahoma to Colorado in three days. Should I get the vaccine now, or wait till I return from my trip? Which vaccine would you recommend?
August 2, 2021

In our opinion, per current evidence (noted in our article above), don't wait to get the vaccine. Get it ASAP. The mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) are the most effective. Keep in mind that you won't have any protection right away -- protection builds with time and after the 2nd dose. Wear a good mask in the airport, on the plane, an indoor areas (per CDC instructions). See our tips on flying in this article:

August 2, 2021

Thank you so much !!
In a world where so many have lost respect for truth, I trust the information that Consumer Labs provides.
August 2, 2021

Thank you Felix, we're glad your finding ConsumerLab to be helpful!

August 8, 2021

I agree!

July 11, 2021

I find the lack of robust statistical evidence that masks are no longer needed for vaccinated people (except for the immunocompromised) to be premature. Dr. Fauci himself was asked if there were a situation in which he might wear a mask and he said perhaps somewhere in the US where the vaccination rate is very low.
The following categories for vaccinated individuals need to be addressed (for all categories we need statistics that include the numbers of individuals studied, broken down by age group. If this causes some categories to be too small to draw conclusions, this should be clearly stated):
1. statistical evidence of the longevity of efficacy for the vaccines by age group.
2. statistical evidence of the efficacy of the vaccine against variants by age group.
Also, we need statistical evidence of the transmissibility of covid by vaccinated individuals. I would expect that physicians, especially, would want to err on the side of caution, to protect their patients and their contacts. AA further reason is to reduce the pool of infected individuals from which variants emerge. We do not have good evidence yet on whether asymptomatic carriers of covid can infect others. We hear that some of the variants are much more transmissible that the original virus. This might enable transmission by breakthrough cases even when the infected person has no sign of disease. Speaking is a potent engine of viral spread.
My personal intuition is that this reduction in preventive measures such as masks and social distancing will prove to be harmful. I fervently hope I am wrong.

August 1, 2021

Ivermectin has been in use for years in animals with great success! I also know many people who took it and recovered nicely at home from covid! I am very disappointed in how biased you are in covering covid!

August 2, 2021

August 25, 2021

Ivermectin has indeed been used for years with success in animals for parasitic worm infections but not for COVID-19. Ivermectin formulations used for animals (particularly large animals) are more concentrated and can be toxic in humans, causing symptoms such as rash, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, neurological disorders (e.g., seizures), and liver injury. The Mississippi Poison Control Center issued a statement on August 20, 2021 that it has been receiving an increased number of calls related to ivermectin exposure, and at least 70% of these calls relate to use of livestock or animal formulations ( In addition to being more concentrated, animal formulations can contain inactive ingredients that are suitable for animals but that have not been evaluated in people (

While anecdotal evidence may suggest that ivermectin is beneficial for COVID-19, high-quality evidence from clinical trials is lacking. A meta-analysis posted as a preprint on August 21, 2021 showed that, while ivermectin appeared to reduce COVID-19-related mortality, decrease hospitalization, increase viral clearance, and improve symptoms when all identified trials were considered - including those classified as having high or some risk of bias (such as inappropriate randomization of the trial participants and lack of blinding, which can influence estimates of effects) - analysis of results from only the studies with low risk of bias showed that ivermectin is not likely to improve most of these clinical outcomes. Furthermore, the reviewers noted that the evidence of benefit of ivermectin for COVID-19 prevention was even less clear, as none of the studies could be classified as low risk of bias, and results from trials with high or some risk of bias showed that ivermectin either reduced or increased symptomatic infections among people who were exposed (

June 23, 2021

My husband and I both recovered from Covid with the help of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin. We have been tested and have antibodies now. Why have you not addressed such cures, but only promote vaccines? Politics? We would rather take the (slim) chance of re-contracting Covid than take a chance on the as-yet not FDA-approved ( except for emergencies) vaccines.
June 23, 2021

We are sorry that both you and your husband experienced COVID but are very glad that you recovered -- hopefully without long-term effects. Clinical studies have shown that hydroxychloroquine is not effective for COVID and, currently, the evidence is mixed as to whether or not ivermectin is helpful. Neither is approved to treat COVID. At the same time, the vaccines currently authorized for use in the U.S. have been shown to be very effective at preventing symptomatic COVID and even more effective at preventing severe disease, and, so far, they have been shown to be safe (yes, as we note in our article, there are rare cases of clotting with thrombocytopenia, particularly in younger women, with J&J, and, rare cases of myocarditis in younger men with Pfizer and Moderna) with the protective benefits far outweighing the risks. For us, this a scientific issue, not political. The focus of the above article is to help our readers understand the vaccines, how they compare on efficacy and safety, who should or should not receive them, timing around other conditions and medication, and how they fare against new variants of the virus, such as the Delta variant.

July 4, 2021

Just because someone gets better from Covid while taking hydrochloroquine and ivermectin does not mean that those medicines were the cause of the cure. Most people are lucky enough to get better from Covid with no additional treatment. However, both hydrochloroquine and ivermectin have been studied way less than the current vaccines. We know that the current vaccines work after millions and millions have taken them. There are no trials for the two medicines that you took. In fact both of them have significant risks. More risks than the vaccine. So you could say that you were taking unauthorized drugs that have no proof of a cure instead of taking the vaccines which have rare side effects but have been used in millions of patients dramatically reducing hospitalizations and deaths in those who are vaccinated. The only people dying now are the unvaccinated 99.2% and some of these were probably taking hydroxychloroquine and/or ivermectin. I have been a physician for 50 years.
July 9, 2021

A meta-analysis of preliminary studies involving ivermectin was published this week. It found a 56% reduction in mortality with ivermectin versus controls in cases of moderate to severe COVID-19 infection. 3% of those on ivermectin died versus 9% in control groups. Many of the included studies were not peer-reviewed. Larger clinical trials are in progress to validate the results seen to date. It was noted that World Health Organization currently recommends the use of ivermectin for COVID-19 only within clinical trials.
July 31, 2021

A more recent analysis (published July 28, 2021), found that, of the 14 clinical trials involving ivermectin they identified, most were small and of poor quality (i.e. lacking a placebo or control group), or yielded uncertain results (little improvement or mixed results compared to placebo or standard of care). The researchers concluded that the current low-quality evidence “does not support the use ivermectin for treatment or prevention of COVID-19 outside of well-designed randomized trials.”

Peter 23067
August 1, 2021

Could Consumer Labs evaluate the evidence provided by Dr. Paul Marik of the Frontline Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance? Dr. Marik treats COVID-19 patients in a critical care setting, and based on the research literature, and on his clinical experience, he provides a very positive assessment of the effectiveness of ivermectin for both the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
August 4, 2021

Dozens of ongoing clinical studies are still evaluating use of ivermectin for COVID-19 – so there is still some belief that it might work. The reason that most experts recommend that, for now, ivermectin be used only in the context of clinical trials is that more insight is needed into which, if any, patients may benefit from ivermectin, the most beneficial dose and duration of treatment, and its safety in people with or at risk for COVID-19. The known efficacy and safety evidence at this time is based mainly on use of ivermectin in people with parasitic worms at specific doses.

Ivermectin has been promoted for COVID-19 by some groups and individuals, particularly the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance or FLCCC (a group of individuals – mainly physicians – that was formed at the start of the pandemic to keep each other informed about COVID-19 science) based on positive results observed in laboratory studies, their own clinical practice, and analyses of clinical trial results (including reviews of studies by Hill, mentioned above, and Bryant - Among the clinical trials included in these analyses, not all have shown a benefit. Also, many of the studies were not peer-reviewed or were unpublished; some of those that were published were small and lacked information needed to determine risk of bias (which is important to assess the reliability of the results); and the dosage of ivermectin given to patients, as well as the treatment provided to control groups, has varied, ranging up to 168 mg per day, as compared to standard adult dosing of about 12 mg for ivermectin’s approved use.

It is important to note that even entities such as FLCCC and the site, which suggest the use of ivermectin, do not advise against vaccination.

August 8, 2021

Is it true that the current Covid vaccines did not have a placebo arm in clinical trials?
August 9, 2021

The clinical trials for the Pfizer, Moderna and J&J COVID-19 vaccines that provided supporting data for their Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) were placebo controlled, with all of the placebo groups receiving saline solution.

August 11, 2021

This is a great forum for information. Very helpful!

On the topic of ivermectin, I too have seen a few anecdotal success firsthand with early treatment, but it's unfortunate we are not seeing higher quality studies with more empirical evidence. My question is, given the drug is off-patent with no commercial opportunity to monetize, is there any hope for funding a higher quality study and can we help as individuals? I know it's not an exciting lucrative opportunity, but savings lives seems important.

August 25, 2021

Using nutrition research as an analog, there are many robust studies that are undertaken that do not have pharmaceutical profit as a basis for funding. Further, the existing poor quality ivermectin studies could have been bolstered without significant extra expense, including preregistration of trials, randomization, inclusion of a placebo arm, and submitting the study for peer review. I can't help but wonder why those researchers have been cutting corners.

June 23, 2021

I had the Jj vaccine in December 2020 as part of the trials. Is there any data to suggest if/when re-vaccination might be safe or recommended? Possibly with Pfizer/moderna this time around?
June 23, 2021

While there is some preliminary evidence that a booster dose may increase immunity among some people who are immunocompromised (, for now, booster doses are not recommended for the general population as the need for and timing of these doses have not been established (

June 23, 2021

Why are more studies on Johnson and Johnson vaccine not being done? I got the J&J vaccine and am now feeling it may not be as effective and I may not really be as "vaccinated" as others.
June 23, 2021

Much of the newest information about the vaccines has come from post-authorization (i.e., "real-world") data. Since fewer people have received the J&J vaccine compared to Pfizer or Moderna, much less real-world evidence about this vaccine is available. In the U.S., for instance, nearly 79 million people are fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, nearly 60 million with the Moderna vaccine, and less than 12 million with the J&J vaccine ( Also, many of the largest real-world studies have used data from countries such as Israel and the U.K., where the J&J vaccine is either not authorized or has not been authorized for as long as other vaccines. It is true that the J&J vaccine has not been shown to be quite as effective as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but experts continue to stress that evidence shows that any of the vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. (including the J&J vaccine) are highly effective at preventing severe disease, which is a primary goal of getting vaccinated.

June 16, 2021

I’ve had two doses of Pfizer in a European country where I reside. I’m a dual citizen who is going to travel to the U.S. soon, where I have the possibility to get the J&J vaccine at a local pharmacy. This would occur approximately two months after my last Pfizer vaccine. What are the drawbacks or benefits of doing this?
June 16, 2021

Unless you know that you have not had a significant immune response to the Pfizer vaccine, it's not clear that you would benefit. If you have not had a response, there may be benefit, but the research is just emerging on this, so we don't really know. Stay tuned: We'll be posting additional information as it comes out.

September 15, 2021

I've now had my Johnson & Johnson vaccine, my third vaccine after two Pfizer vaccines. I can report headache, fever and rapid heart beat at night after my shot. A couple of Ibuprofen and a half a day later, and I'm feeling fine.

June 8, 2021

Thank you for warning about swollen lymph nodes being a possible side-effect of the Pfizer vaccine, and your consequent suggestion that routine mammograms be scheduled at least six weeks post vaccination for this reason. I didn't have this side-effect after my first vaccine, but have had it after my second vaccine. At first I thought the underside of my vaccinated arm was sore, but on further examination, it's apparent even in the mirror that my armpit is swollen, and it feels a bit sore.

June 20, 2021

I had the same reaction from a J &J vaccination.

August 4, 2021

I had that reaction from flu shots twice! The armpit swollen glands are a relatively comment vaccine side-effect, not just COVID vaccine.

August 4, 2021

My son also had swollen lymph node under his arm (vaccinated arm), He is 35. Pfizer.

June 3, 2021

I take immunosuppressant drugs for Multiple Myeloma, a blood cancer, and had my blood sample tested for vaccine antibodies 2.5 months after receiving the Moderna vaccine. The result was a number, 14.4 with the comment that any number above 1.0 is "positive," and any number less is "negative." Also, that the magnitude of the number cannot be used as a measure to determine how protected I am. I took it as good news because, previously, I had read that a goodly portion of people with blood cancers were not developing any antibodies because of vaccination.

I ❤️ ConsumerLab
June 16, 2021

If you are getting an antibody test to see if you have COVID antibodies, you should read this advisory from the FDA:
June 17, 2021

Thank you for sharing this. We discuss why antibody testing to assess immune response is not generally advised in the answer above, here

June 20, 2021

Rather than rely on CDC advice meant for the masses, I'd rely on your personal physician for advice.

August 11, 2021

I wish I had your faith or your physician

May 19, 2021

Has anyone with interstitial cystitis had the vaccine, and if so was there any effect on your bladder symptoms?

May 30, 2021

I'm a long time sufferer of IC and experience much pain when my bladder is full. I'm fully vaccinated, had my second dose the end of March, and see no difference in my IC symptoms.

July 7, 2021

I've had IC a long time and IBS-C. Take amitriptyline for both. I’ve noticed no difference in my IC symptoms. I took the J&J vaccine first week in March. However, I was diagnosed with Meneires Disease in May and my tinnitus seems to be worse. How can one know if it's related?

harold jitschak22585
May 19, 2021

Dr.Cooperman, my big compliments for the time and extreme efforts you are spending to informing your readers from all sides what is going on with covid-19 vaccines [and all other issues] Hope you get your 8 hours sleep.... Toda Rabba we say in Hebrew
May 19, 2021

Thank you. It's very much a team effort. We have 3 people critically reviewing the latest research and products relating to COVID, on top of everything else we normally cover and test.

May 16, 2021

I had the J & J on April 1. No side effects so far and my arm didn't ever hurt. Took my aunt (92 yrs old) after the CDC allowed the J & J back and she is also fine. No sore arm either. She had the J & J on April 29. 5 other members of my family have also had the J & J with no problems and no side effects to date. age range 59 to 69 not counting my 92 yr old aunt. I'm the 69 yr old.

May 16, 2021

About two days after getting a J & J shot in my left arm I started getting a sharp pain behind my left ear. The pain occurred only when I turned my head to the right. The pain was just a sharp jolt which went away. This lasted for two weeks.

May 16, 2021

I received J & J in my left arm with no immediate effects. However, about 2-3 days later I had a sharp pain behind my left ear when I turned my head to the right. This lasted for two weeks.

April 29, 2021

About twelve days after receiving my second Pfizer shot I experienced a significant increase in existing tinnitus, which has not diminished after 9 weeks. In January, before my first shot, I couldn’t find any reports of vaccine related tinnitus. In contrast, in March I started seeing reports of new tinnitus or aggravation of existing tinnitus related to the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines. The tinnitus seems to affect a very small number of patients, but if you are one of those affected it is a problem.

May 6, 2021

I got Tinnitus after the first dose of the Pfizer which resovled after 3 weeks.
After the 2nd dose the Tinnitus was worse along with a heightened senetivity to sound which created a feeling of irritation in my brain. Also had a light headed feeling throughout the day. Resolved after 5 weeks

May 9, 2021

Please report this through VAERS. It is easy to do and you can find it online. Have your vaccination card on hand as it will ask for information from it.

May 30, 2021

I have tinnitus. This situation has worsened significantly after the Pfizer vaccinations. I do not regret being vaccinated. The hyperacusis has increased significantly too. I have a doctor of audiology who treats this situation with sound therapy. I selected chiming as a diversionary tactic and ocean waves when studying/writing. I have not contacted my professional about the situation post vaccination. Reading the above comments may change my mind.

elisabeth 22786
June 21, 2021

Please report all tinnitus side effects as it may help the medical community research a possible solution for those of us who struggle with increased tinnitus after our shots. Thank you.

June 23, 2021

It is important that we report all side effects through VAERS as it helps the CDC understand better who may be at risk for side effects.

July 7, 2021

My tinnitus grew worse after J & J vaccinne early March. I was diagnosed in May with Meneires Disease.

August 1, 2021

I developed tinnitus for the first time about a month after the second Moderna vaccination,

August 11, 2021

Claire, I would love to know how your Ménière’s disease was diagnosed since I have been led to believe that there is no clinical test that will diagnose Ménière’s disease and that it is mainly an inferential diagnosis.

August 18, 2021

@Lida23165 I had testing audiology that revealed I've lost hearing in the ranges that indicate Meineres. My ENT then otdered a brain MRI to rule out any sirt of tumor. This combined with the violent onset of vertigo that induced vomiting for 2.5 hrs at onset of my first symptoms. I had two more attacks within the week. I was prescribed Betahistine which my pharmcay had to compound because its no longer approved by the FDA in USA. They prescribe it in Europe and you can get it in Canada. I've not had any atracks since taking the Betahistine. So, to answer your question, onset of symptoms, confirmed audiology testing, and clarified there was no other reasons for symptoms by brain MRI resulted in diagnosis.

April 29, 2021

Has any one with type 1 or type 2 diabetes experienced any blood glucose spikes after the first or second shot and if so, how long before blood sugars leveled off again?

June 13, 2021

Type 2. Noticed a +30 - +40 rise in my blood sugar consistently since May (I had my second Moderna shot in March). Note that I had neglected taking my blood sugar levels for about 4 months, so I don't know if this was a spike or a gradual increase, and I am not exercising as I did before (was doing 2-4 times a week in the pool).
Not sure of any causality with shot and my elevated blood sugars. I have also been itching on both arms. I did see comments on a British diabetes site about the vaccine and BS:

June 22, 2021

I experienced highs and lows beginning after the second Pfizer shot. I got the second shot on March 19 an d still experience the highs and lows, but not as severe since my dosage regimen has changed. I no lo longer take glimepiride, have reduced Lantus from 15 to 7 units, reduced my meal time dosage and take no more than 1 unit in the evening.

April 28, 2021

What is your take on being fully vaccinated and eating in indoor establishments?
August 11, 2021

The answer is situation-specific. See the section above entitled "Must People Who've Been Vaccinated Keep Wearing Masks and Social Distancing?”

April 25, 2021

Took Moderna shot about 1 month ago and had arm pain that lasted 5 days , flue like symptoms . Gastritis and acid reflux for 2 weeks and increased tinnitus , I have not seen any of these side effects in the other posts . Everything has subsided except for the aggravation in tinnitus. Any other reported tinnitus aggravations?
April 25, 2021
April 25, 2021

I have noticed a ringing in my ears after the second shot of Moderna Has anyone else experienced this?

April 29, 2021

I already had some tinnitus, but it is much more noticeable after my 2nd shot (Pfizer). Encouraging that majority of those in tests who had this side effect found it to be temporary. Mine is probably unrelated but it is not a fun condition to have.

August 18, 2021

My tinnitis increased after vax in March with J&J. It has not decreased. Very annoying.

April 15, 2021

If one is taking anti-metabolites, such as mycophenolate, Is there any benefit to having an additional vaccine of a different type in order to help covered immunity. Such as if you had the Pfizer vaccine, to later in the year have the Moderna vaccine?
April 15, 2021

That's a big question right now in the medical community. There is research ongoing to try to answer it. As we have reported, this drug and other immunosuppressants have been shown, to varying degrees, to suppress the humoral (antibody) response to COVID vaccines, but it is not clear how this impacts the ability of vaccines to prevent infection and, most importantly, reduce disease severity if one gets infected. As soon as there is more information, we will report it and you'll be alerted through our e-newsletter. We are actively following this topic. For now, the CDC's position is that "The need for and timing for COVID-19 booster doses have not been established. No additional doses are recommended at this time."

the other Mark
April 14, 2021

You name all kinds of medical conditions, but I can't find anything in your article that contraindicates getting the shot. You advise consulting your doctor, that's the law, but then go on to make consultation seem like a mere formality before getting the shot anyway. Adverse reactions are so very "rare", it's more important to get the shot than to worry about your individual reaction.
April 15, 2021

Yes, adverse reactions (as opposed to common side effects) are rare, and vaccination is appropriate for most people. However, we do include a section in our answer that discusses conditions for which the vaccine is contraindicated and those for which precaution is warranted: We also note conditions for which consultation with one's doctor is advised, because, for instance, it may be appropriate to separate treatment and vaccination by specific intervals.

May 13, 2021

To Mark Wilson 22436, Please provide the real data that adverse reactions are so very "rare" as you stated, I would like to review them. And I say individual reactions are something to worry about since it is all about an individual, unless you are referring to the whole population and not to care about an individual person. Anyway, good luck everyone and don't forget your flu shot with all this attention given to 19.

April 11, 2021

This is the best explanation of how mRNA works that have read. Thank you!

April 7, 2021

Have there been any reports of phantosmia (smelling things that aren't there) from the COVID vaccine? I started smelling smoke about 4 days afterward and it has been going on for a week now. At first I couldn't figure out why but after a little research, I learned that some people who have had COVID report smelling smoke. However, I can't find anything tying this back to getting the vaccine. Anything I can do to make this go away? I am a little worried now about getting the second dose (Moderna).
April 12, 2021

Thank you for sharing this Jenny. We've added information about phantosmia in the answer above.

May 31, 2021

I have had the same problem smelling heat/smoke/something hot. Started after 2nd shot. Glad to hear it is the shot not something in my house. I had Pfizer.

July 4, 2021

I too had a sense of smoke that went away after a few days. Immediately after the Pfizer shot I had a strange feeling that my blood wasn’t flowing properly. Since I regularly get IVIG infusions this was concerning and I reported it to VAERS.

August 1, 2021

I had mild covid in December and I smell what seems like smoke at times, even now. I never connected it to covid.

April 7, 2021

Is there any difference between shots #1 and #2 OR are they just a second shot of the same vaccine given in the #1 dose?
April 8, 2021

The same shot is given both times – no difference in dose.

April 5, 2021

2nd Moderna shot on Saturday morning (63, female). Unlike the first shot, my arm hurt immediately. No other side effects for 10 hours - then muscle/joint aches in every body part where I had previously had an issue (knees, back, hand, jaw, head). Slight fever up to 100.0. Also could not fall asleep. Took Tylenol in the middle of the night as well as migraine meds. After 30 hours, started to feel better - arm ache lessened and muscle aches disappeared. (Note that the arm ache was not as bad as the arm ache after Shingles vaccines.) Thrilled that I had a reaction - hopefully a sign that immunity system is working well.

March 31, 2021

Quest diagnostic has the test- IgG to spike protein- if high level, indicates either past infection or response to the vaccine

March 29, 2021

I'm a healthy, slim, 64 year old woman who does vigorous exercise daily. I had my 1st Pfizer vaccination yesterday afternoon. I felt fatigued and had a slight headache for most of the rest of the day, but I just drank my usual coffee to deal with it. My entire upper arm felt sore and heavy, especially at the vaccination site. The soreness is significantly more than I've experienced after my annual flu vaccinations. I didn't take any pain medication for the soreness, but I omitted my daily 100 pushups yesterday. I woke up today feeling normal, except for a sore upper arm. I have quite severe OCD relating to cleanliness/germs etc., and have mostly been confined to my home for more than a year, so I feel ecstatic to be on the road to protecting myself and others, and looking forward to booking postponed medical appointments, such as my annual physical, after my 2nd vaccine.

April 7, 2021

64 years old and 100 push-ups. Bravo!

April 25, 2021

WOW - 100 push ups a day...that's impressive at any age!

May 30, 2021

100 push-ups a day is great for an 18 year old at Fort Bragg. You have lots to "Bragg" about!!! Fantastic!

June 7, 2021

Thanks Alex, Ted and John! I've just read your kudos and want to thank you!

March 25, 2021

Thanks very much for the info on antibody testing. I'm just sorry I took so long to say so.

I've had one Moderna shot, and got minor heat and soreness at the site, which faded in 4 or 5 days. My opinion is that my body reacted more generally by increasing the symptoms of various chronic, minor ailments. Examples include allergy/sinus problems, leg pains from sitting too much, both worse for a while, then it let up. I took an aspirin, and that helped. I did not take any NSAID before the vaccine, and only use aspirin a couple of times a year. I did take some immune-enhancing probiotics before and after the vaccine. They'll call when number 2 is ready.

March 24, 2021

One week after second Pfizer vaccine (about a month ago) I got an ever expanding rash on my arms and legs. Nothing at injection site. My dermatologist biopsies it but thought it was planar lichenositis. Distinct lesions. Often itchy when clothing touches it. Maybe not be associated with vaccine at all. Letter in recent NEJM from Boston Mass General makes me wonder though.

April 28, 2021

About a week after Phizer my wife's cheeks and face seemed an unusually "red-ish" color (like sunburn) and occasionally a bit ichy. That lasted for about two weeks or so. She said this is allergy season, but I don't recal seeing her face that color before. She is suseptible to dry skin and the like when weather conditions are harsh, but I'm suspecting the shot made the skin on her face more sensitive and irritated. She's back to normal now. Just thought I would mention this in case someone else experienced the same.

March 23, 2021

Has any one on KEYTRUDA treatment taken the Covid-19 vaccine?

April 7, 2021

Yes, my brother is on Keytruda for mets to the lung from throat cancer and he took the J&J vaccine. 8 hours after the injection, he got a headache and fever. Took 2 Tylenol and went to bed. Next day he was fine, just a little sore arm. Hope this was helpful.

March 21, 2021

I'm a generally healthy 67 year or male, had 2 doses of Moderna, only mild aftereffects (to moderate injections site soreness in the days after) but did have 2 or 3 mild nosebleeds, 2 a day after the 1st injection and 1 a couple of days after the second.
Normally I'll have a mild one every few months or so (not all my life but maybe more so in the last decade or so.
I reported these in my VSAFE text check-ins but wondered if anyone else has noticed this as well.

Many thanks to Consumerlab for coming through as usual with what we're all needing to know in a timely fashion! Good to know we're still likely to be getting considerable protection even without much in the way of aftereffects to the shots.

March 21, 2021

uc san francisco is doing a study to "understand the relationship between stress and COVID-19 vaccination immune responses"
you can listen to a radio broadcast that discusses the research here
i had my first dose before i learned of the program or i'd have joined the study. i am not affiliated with the study in any way.

March 15, 2021

First shot of Moderna on March 6 with no side effects (Female, age 63). On Day 8, developed Covid Arm - red, swelling but no itching or pain. Reported to VSafe. Looking forward to Shot 2.

March 14, 2021

Senior male here. Had my first Moderna shot on 2/20 with second scheduled for 3/20. Slight soreness as injection site for 2 days (like flu shot) and after about a week noticed more reaction to cold weather than before. That has tapered off now. Looking forward to 3/20 and last shot.

Diane 22256
March 14, 2021

I had the J & J vaccine yesterday, by evening I had a headache and some nausea, throughout the night the headache continued as well as developing body aches and probably had a fever since I was hot and cold on and off so not much sleep. This morning I still have a headache but the body aches are gone and no hot and cold but along with the headache my head is a bit spacey, tired eyes. Where do we report side effects if we want to?

March 7, 2021

I took the Johnson one shot vaccine yesterday and overnight I had a fever which went away by morning. I think I should report it so those who are researching it can add this to their data to learn more about it.

elisabeth 22263
March 14, 2021

yes, excellent idea

March 7, 2021

That was an excellent round up of information!

Gale 23109
August 4, 2021

I agree. Best info I've seen on Covid! My husband and I, both in our early 80s, had Moderna shots in Feb.
I had sore arm/flu-like symptoms next day only. First day after my husband's injection, he played golf. We've had no other noticeable symptoms. We continue to wear our masks in church/public settings due to rise in more contagious variants! Please keep us updated on new findings. I tell my friends about ConsumerLab, hoping they'll subscribe to be better informed. Keep up your great work!

helen 22205
March 3, 2021

How about kidney issues is vaccination contraindicated if some one has CKD or some form of compromised kidneys?
March 8, 2021

We've added information about this in the Answer above.

March 2, 2021

Did anyone have a lot of sneezing and other cold symptoms after dose#2?? I felt fab on days 1 and 2 post-Pfizer-shot #2. But after 48 h I developed the worst cold of my life and had to stay in bed for 2 days from weakness(not typical of me at all, though I am over 65). No fever, chills, or body pains either. Wondering if it's related to the shot or just a fluke?

March 6, 2021

I have been experiencing fatigue, coughing, nausea for 2 weeks after the 2nd Pfizer shot. I also had muscle and joint pain with very red & glassy eyes during the first week. No temperature over 99. I am 74 & female.

April 11, 2021

I had incredible headache, sneezing and nose running ONLY on the side of my body that received Moderna shot #1--lasted a couple of days. After shot #2 had fever, body aches and much fatigue for 2-3 days. I had Covid a year before I got the vaccine (beginning of March.) 78 years old, female

February 28, 2021

Over 65 gentleman here and received the first dose of Pfizer vaccine yesterday - only symptom is slight soreness at injection site, no more than with yearly flu vaccine.

February 28, 2021

Excellent article! Thank you for providing this information.
March 1, 2021

Thank you, Jan. We are glad you are finding it helpful.

elisabeth 22264
March 14, 2021

I am so grateful for this information. Thank you.
March 15, 2021

We're glad you're finding it helpful!

February 28, 2021

3 friends and I all in our 80s sailed thru both vaccinations with minor problems, one tender arm, but one week after 2nd shot all woke up with muscle pain different and more intense than usual aches and pains. Lasted the day and then gone. A grandson police officer told us he had same thing happen

March 1, 2021

Woops, it was Moderna vacs. Forgot to mention that

February 28, 2021

Both my husband and I have two doses of the Pfizer vaccine and we suffered no effects except for a sore arm which wasn't any different from other shots. I think my shingles shot was worse. Makes us worry that we aren't fully vaccinated if we didn't "suffer."
February 28, 2021

We've added information about this concern in the "Adverse events and safety monitoring" section of the answer above:

February 28, 2021

We both take a multivitamin and fish oil every day. Because I am diabetic I also take magnesium.

March 1, 2021

Speaking of shingles, ConsumerLab, you quoted that "the risk increases with age and can be triggered, in part, by stressful life events" - well yes, stress in your system can also cause shingles. Getting the vaccine certainly stresses your system, so it makes perfect sense that shingles may, indeed, be a side effect. My husband (age 70) had the Pfizer vaccine and exactly two weeks later, got shingles. Luckily, it was a mild case because we noticed it very quickly and he was put on the appropriate meds immediately. He had his second shot last week. On the third day (and only on that one day), he felt really lousy all day. He's been fine since then.
I would like to report the shingles after-effect to the appropriate reporting place but I don't know where that is. ConsumerLab, can you inform us where to report side-effects? Thank you for all you do!
March 2, 2021

Adverse events can be reported. See the information in our answer above at

elisabeth 22265
March 14, 2021

Please do report adverse effects to your doctor; this type of information is invaluable.

April 25, 2021

Please report to the CDC database.

February 26, 2021

I had the first dose of Moderna last week. No side effects except for a slightly sore arm that disappeared on day three. However, on day 7 (yesterday) I developed "Covid Arm". I have a red, swollen oval "bump" about 3"x2", that is hot, itchy and sore to the touch. I put some numbing cream (Orajel) on it last night which helped alleviate the discomfort. My second Moderna dose is scheduled for March 18th, so it will be interesting to see if I have any side effects from that.

elisabeth 22266
March 14, 2021

I look forward to your follow-up. Thank you for sharing!

February 25, 2021

I am 76 y.o. female. Had my first Covid vaccination, Pfizer on January 27. Burned slightly going in, mild itching later, no other symptoms. Was told to wait 30" after vaccination as I have a mild topical reaction to PEG. Second dose was administered Friday February 19at 1030 am, did not even feel the injection. Sleep that night was disturbed by several awakenings, more than usual. Got up around 6:30 Saturday am feeling ok, but by 0830 started feeling uncomfortable, chills, very achy, very very tired, slight nausea, headache. Slept on/off entire day and felt a little better that night. Slept well Saturday night and awakened on Sunday feeling well, but slightly more tired than usual.

August 11, 2021

I had shingles within two weeks of second dose of Moderna. Without seeing doctor he said it wasn't the vaccine.

November 16, 2021

My brother-in-law, no Covid or shingles vaccinations, developed a case of shingles June of 2020, which he recovered from after six weeks. In September he got Covid. Within two weeks he developed another shingles outbreak. His doctor said the Covid infection reactivated the herpes virus. So both vaccine and the real disease can trigger shingles outbreak. And he know decided to get a shingles vaccine

February 25, 2021

My husband (66) and I (65) had our 2nd vaccines two weeks ago. He had Pfizer, and I had Moderna. We both had sore arms for a few days, but that was it. My 91 year old mother had no side effects from Moderna. Honestly, we were disappointed we didn't get more of a reaction. Supposedly, people with robust immune systems have more reactions. Our doctor, who is also 65, was thrilled because he felt terrible the morning after his vaccine. I had a much bigger reaction from the Shingrix vaccine (chills, headache, and fever). I hope we actually have the 95% and 94.1% protection. And I really hope the people in this country think more like "we" than "me" and get vaccinated when they have their opportunity.

February 26, 2021

Yes, thinking like 'we' is key to getting past this pandemic.

February 22, 2021

Since folks are sharing their experiences with the vaccine, I will share mine. I am 36 years old and plan to start a family. I received both doses of Moderna and only experienced a mild headache after the second. My 41 year old husband also received both doses and experienced chills and body aches after the second. We are both grateful to be vaccinated and hope everyone else opts to get it when their turn comes so we can reach herd immunity.

March 7, 2021

My first Moderna dose only produced minor injection site soreness for ~ 3 days. Second dose produced minor chills and malaise at 12 hours, fever (100.5 - 99.9) at 18 hours that persisted for 12 hours and significant fatigue and minor multifocal joint and muscle pain for 36 hours. Additionally, I had pretty noteworthy injection site soreness for 72 hours through the entire deltoid (still modestly sore until ~ 6 days). At ~ 72 hours after the 2nd dose, I had persistent sneezing and some rhinitis. The later symptoms may, of course, be unrelated. So, a mild and typical reaction.

February 21, 2021

I'm 75. Just got the Pfizer first dose vaccine this morning. No side effects whatsoever. Have an appt for my second dose on March 13th. I think in March there will be a lot more places that will have first doses available.

February 15, 2021

I had a flu shot in October at the local grocery store chain and because it was done improperly had the worst sore arm for 3 months. It was strange as it worked itself down to my fore arm and then finally went away. I have been so fearful of getting another shot that it caused me sleepless nights. After my husbands urging, we received an appointment for Moderna vaccine. We drove 40 minutes to get Covid vaccine and the girl was so trained well, good and caring. It was not a jab and she got down to my arm level properly and also did it in my right arm this time as I was so afraid of having it where the other gal hit a muscle or tendon for the flu shot. I had no reaction, just a tiny bruise and minimal soreness. Volunteers are needed to give the vaccine, but I think it is so important they ANYONE injecting a needle be properly trained and not overworked. It is my understanding now that SIRV (shoulder injured related to vaccines) is COMMON. My lord, this is terrible. I am now faced to worry about shots the rest of my life. The gal at the pharmacy who did my shot was a PHARMACIST. But, I could tell she was tired and upset. I did not press charges, but it is important that the public should be aware of who is injecting their arm. If you watch the news, you can see how poorly it is done daily. It gives me wigglies watching them. I am now damaged probably for life worrying about this. I hope there will be a new legislation to train others properly and not allow store chains to give this task to overworked pharmacists. That is an act of greed. I hope I can help just one person not have a lifetime of worry now about having an injection of any kind by being aware of who and the timing of getting a shot. At my store pharmacy they always have you come in around 2 p.m. to have a shot of any kind. This is also an extremely busy time and they want to do everything and everyone at the same time. I will not after many years returning to this location. I will make it a point to ask proper questions. PLEASE DO THE SAME.

February 17, 2021

With all due respect I think you are ynfortunately scaring peole away from getting vaccinated based on your individual experience & worries, while on the other hand 50 million doses have been given to date with very few reports of adverse effects lasting more than a day or two. As for your comments about finding people who are giving these injections “who are not overworked”, good luck with that in this emergency, when many many millions must be vaccinated as quickly as order not only to prevent deaths and illness, but to prevent more variations from developing. In this pandemic “overworked” for these workers is the name of the game. It’s not a question of “greed” as you phrase it. Rather it’s a questio of need, desperate need to do what is needed as quickly as safely possible.

February 21, 2021

I agree with Stans comments. I have to add that the greed comment is a little over the top. I commend all the health care workers helping to distribute this vaccine.

February 22, 2021

Stan, no offense, but after my first covid vaccine injection I also suffered an injury from poor administration that bought me an overnight in our local hospital to rule out stroke. Pamela is right to remind folks to make sure whoever is administering your shot is checking for landmarks and using the right size needle for your body type. After researching SERVA I found out that this type of injury is not uncommon but it is totally preventable.

February 22, 2021

Thank you Stan for your sane, well-reasoned comments on the vaccines and the health care workers who are so valiantly working to keep us safe.

February 24, 2021

I am very sorry to hear of your vaccination incident at the pharmacy. As a RN for 25 years I've seen plenty of "less than desirable" injection techniques on the news...I cringe at some even. However, these are not necessarily damaging and usually just result in a very sore arm. I always tell people NOT to inject into the very center of the deltoid due to a nerve running thru there. Also problems can happen when someone injects too high toward the shoulder joint.
As I said, most people are just fine, but I do not fault you for sharing your experience! Full disclosure is always best.

February 25, 2021

Thanks to Pamela and Jeanne for making us aware of this issue.

February 25, 2021

Pamela, I had the same thing happen! A nurse who didn't regularly give shots gave me my flu shot too high up on my arm - that was 5 months ago and I still have pain. What you said is correct and confirmed by Jeanne, who replied to you, too. The guy who said you are "scaring people away" is totally wrong. It's important that when we go for vaccines we are educated and we know to tell them if we think they are in the wrong spot!

March 7, 2021

Agree! I’ve seen some atrocious injection technique on media as well. I was fortunate to have what seemed to be a fairly skilled pharmacist on both occasions. Injections were properly placed relatively low on the deltoid and administered with pretty good technique.

March 10, 2021

Pamela, I think you are right to inform others of this issue. I had a frozen shoulder for 3 years due to a flu shot administered wrong. I could not use my arm to carry or hold things and could not bend it back. It took forever for it to heal. It still has not healed totally and I suspect I will always feel tenderness there. That said, I always express my concern to anyone giving me a shot about what happened so that they make a point of doing it "right". I really wish people would not judge someone for reporting things like is informative and people have the right to know.

March 24, 2021

@ Stan22096

Good Job expressing yourself. My oldest daughter RN supervisor for a medical network and she co-owns assistant living company. Her company signed a contract with a very large medical network to exclusively handle Covid-19 patients in hospitals. I asked my daughter to read what Pamela wrote and this thread and she agreed with you. My daughter caught COVID-19, she was hospitalized and suffered greatly and she’s been knee deep since the beginning. Even after recovering she returned with fury to defeat this virus.

It breaks her heart reading ‘conspiracists’ none sense when she’s seen many many people died from this virus and stacked piles of human carcasses. Note: after people begin receiving vaccinations thats only when my child and her staff began seeing improvements.

June 17, 2021

As an RN who regularly gives injections in an emergency room setting and in a vaccine clinic, I have seen improper intramuscular (IM) injection technique used by fellow RNs, as well as in photos and videos taken at vaccination sites. Unfortunately, there is surprisingly little research on IM injection technique and a lot of variation on what is considered "proper". I would also like to add that there are some people who have variations in their anatomy that might have contributed to the problem of long-term post-injection site pain -- even when correct technique & needle size are used. Sometimes a persons nerves or blood vessels have developed in atypical positions that fall within the areas deemed "safe" for injection.

February 14, 2021

I had my first shot of Moderna at 5:30 pm on February 9, 2021. I am 77 years old, turning 78 in April. I experienced very mild discomfort at the injection site. Next morning I woke up with a 2-inch round pink patch about 2 ior 3 inches down below the injection site. It was hot to the touch and felt sore -- like I'd bumped into something. I guess my body was fighting off a fever in that little spot on my arm! I also felt a bit tired, but not enough to keep me from going to my one-hour workout for seniors that morning. The patch is gone now, but was sore for two or three days. My second shot is scheduled for March 9, 2021, in the morning.

February 21, 2021

My sister had a small red patch too, that started going away after a couple days. Minimal pain on any of the days. She had the Pfizer vaccine. I think this is pretty normal.
A friend had the Moderna and got a large red itchy patch below the injection site. I took a week or more to go away. She looked it up and found it was a normal occurrence.

May 26, 2021

Pharmacists have extensive vaccination training, and speaking as a pharmacist, I have given hundreds of vaccinations, including many Covid-19 shots. As a rule, we take great care for any patient. I have trouble trying to understand any pharmacist doing otherwise. As far as the comment "the other gal hit a muscle" ---by protocol, the Covid-19 vaccine is to be injected into the deltoid muscle. There are no tendons in that region. On rare occasion, a small blood vessel may be nicked or pierced, but there is no way to predict where such blood vessels are in any individual. Any bleeding is typically quite minor, and can be stopped with a small band-aid type bandage. In short, I do not know the particular pharmacist to which you refer, but in general, I know pharmacists and their professional ethical standards to be quite high.

February 14, 2021

While its nice to see the website list so many apparent places giving out the covid vaccine, the site fails to say there are no appointments until who knows when. I am computer literate but totally unable to find where I can obtain the vaccine. The fact is, locating where is just a mater of pure luck. By the way, the Orange County Othena site is a joke. It never loads. Regardless of the time of day or the actual day itself the site never loads. I have heard of a some people who were lucky to find the site loading but again, this whole situation is sheer luck. California vaccine rollout is a fiasco.

February 15, 2021

In New York City, I was able to get a vaccine appointment at a Walgreens pharmacy soon after vaccine became available at pharmacies. I had to register for a Walgreens account in order to schedule an appointment. Got my first Moderna dose on 2/13/21.

February 14, 2021

My 69 year old friend received the second Moderna shot on Friday morning. She became fatigued at 9 am and went to bed. Experienced shaking chills during the night. Felt crappy on Saturday with a low grade fever (which developed in the late afternoon), aches and pains and "felt cold inside". Woke up at 6 am on Sunday and felt normal. Beyond grateful for the scientists who developed the vaccine.

February 13, 2021

I have never received a flu shot in my whole life. I worked in the medical field during one of the most severe flu pandemics (1970's) in Europe. The doctor I worked with did not believe in flu shots and we all got B 12 shots instead. Our clinic was packed with severely ill patients. We never got sick. Of course I was a lot younger then. I am not fond of vaccines but I think in this case I will make an exception. I also have concerns about long term safety. It's a tough choice. My father just died from COVID. He had mild disease and suddenly died at night. Mom tested positive and never had any symptoms. Both in their upper eighties. I still want to know where this virus came from and why it affects people so differently. Why did it kill my Dad while Mom wasn't affected at all?

February 15, 2021

Trudy, I hope that you do make an exception this time to have a shot. You will not only be possibly saving yourself, you also take heart in saving others. We are all as one. I am so sorry that your Dad died and hope your Mom is doing well after Covid diagnosis. Please go to CDC website and there is so much valuable information about Covid and many other diseases and how it affects people so differently. Do not use other websites for your information, other than here on Consumer Lab. Good health Blessings.

February 7, 2021

I am a heart failure patient taking medications including beta blockers and blood thinners. After receiving the first Moderna vaccine, I had injection site pain for the first two days. I did not have abnormal bleeding. 4 days after the shot, I experienced a couple of days of higher heart rate than normal, chills and mild fever (99) that lasted for only a couple of hours. When I developed a fever, I took a covid test, which came back negative, and my doctor said side effects can occur even after the first dose of the vaccine. By the time I got to one week out from the vaccine, I felt normal again. Like this consumerlab article, my cardiologist advised me to get the vaccine because becoming infected with covid would be far more dangerous than the side effects of the vaccine. I am now waiting for the 2nd Moderna vaccine.

February 22, 2021

I also have been diagnosed with heart failure. I take Ranolaxine 1000 mg 2x’s a day. Other than some soreness at injection site, I did not have any after effects from my first Maderna shot.

February 3, 2021

I got a severe disease immediately subsequent to taking a statin drug (that I truly didn't need). The adverse effects began immediately: foot cramps, connective-tissue tears, peripheral neuropathy, etc. See to get an idea of how bad the adverse effects were and still are--after 9 years.

After much hesitation, I took the Covid-19 vaccine, first dose, Pfizer. I had an insignificant amount of muscle soreness at the vaccination site. No other effects. (But my body is always is so much pain, cramping, etc. that I'd have trouble noticing new problems.)

Now waiting to see if the second dose "goes down" as easily.

PS In case you have a statin-triggered disease, I don't have Statin-associated Autoimmune Myopathy, with its super high CK levels. I took simvastatin, which is a lipophilic statin. I took just 20mg for 7 months, with a short interval of 40mg.

June 6, 2021

David I too had the neuropathy and joint capsule tears after trying a statin. I don't think it is as rare as folks think.

February 3, 2021

Is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine a live virus vaccine?
February 4, 2021

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine does contain a live (though weakened) virus but not the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This type of vaccine is classified as a "viral vector vaccine." According to the CDC, a viral vector vaccine uses "a weakened version of a live virus—a different virus than the one that causes COVID-19—that has genetic material from the virus that causes COVID-19 inserted in it." ( The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a human adenovirus.

February 25, 2021

Cheryl thanks for pointing out this issue.

harold jitschak22010
February 3, 2021

The CDC states that pain relievers/fever reducers (e.g., acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin) may be taken in the days after vaccine administration.

For some 40 years now I am fighting against one of the biggest mistakes in medicine........taking fever suppressants when there is a fever or fever may show up. There is nothing worse than reducing own body resistance/immunity by such action. Basic biology common sense should dictate us this but for "mysterious reasons" we act like robots here for a whole generation or more.
Taking pain relievers, fine with me if this is the only solution. I hope you are willing to check the will not find this in Harrison probably or any famous textbook of medicine.
Please help to correct this mistake even if the CDC stated so.

February 8, 2021

it's not 'mysterious reasons' fevers are frightening, dangerous, and uncomfortable. fever suppressants should be taken if a fever is approaching 104F or if a fever is prolonged as brain damage can occur.

February 1, 2021

I received my first dose of Pfizer but when it came time to register for the second dose I only could get it 4 weeks later. Will it still provide the same immunity if it had been 3 weeks? The first shot gave me no symptoms.
February 4, 2021

Please see the details about getting the second shot in the "Key Points" section of the answer above, which includes information about delays in getting the second dose.

February 22, 2021

There is controversy in the medical community about the time between COVID vaccine doses. Some say we have only tested 3 weeks (Pfizer) and 4 weeks (Moderna) & only have data for that, so only those intervals should be used. (Strict Evidence Based Medicine adherents.) Others in immunology say our knowledge of immune response suggests waiting longer allows the immune cycle time to properly recognize the spike protein, and waiting longer will give a better, longer lasting response. They say the 2 companies producing RNA vaccine understandably wanted to produce data as fast as possible to prevent death and disability during the pandemic, and didn't wait to fine-tune dose spacing. I looked up vaccines for other diseases. NONE had as short a time between doses as the COVID vaccines do. It was advised if someone was vaccinated without adequate time between doses of other vaccines, (for example going on vacation or working in a foreign country), that they receive a 3rd booster at a later date because otherwise immunity would wane.
So I tried to delay the 2nd Pfizer shot, figuring I could continue to protect myself in the interim. But my institution wouldn't let me delay the 2nd shot beyond 4 extra days. I expect we will all need another booster at some future time as a result, but hopefully production will be up to the demand by then.
(I have no financial interest in either vaccine. I work in medical research. Links are apparently not permitted in comments, so I have not included sites or papers I read.)

February 25, 2021

Gail, Interesting!!! Thank you for this!!!

March 31, 2021

I read the same information, by my institution did not let me postpone even for 1 day ( moderna0

January 31, 2021

I received the 2nd Moderna shot on 1/26. Woke up on the 27th with headache, temp of 99.7 F, dizziness, fatigue, foggy thinking, chills, diarrhea and muscle aches. Couldn't work and that night at bedtime temp up to 100.1 F. Woke up the next morning and felt fine. I was surprised at my strong negative reaction to the vaccine and equally surprised how quickly these symptoms subsided.

January 26, 2021

Thank you for your valuable information! I was surprised to see that there can be swelling at the site of past dermal fillers as a result of the vaccine. That won't deter me at all from getting the vaccine, but I'm very curious why the vaccine could provoke this swelling. I last had dermal fillers in my face about two years ago.

January 22, 2021

Do you consider it safe to wait until the single dose vaccine is made available? I am sure it would not be possible to get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and then get the Johnson and Johnson vs. the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna, would it?
January 22, 2021

No, it would seem preferable to get one of currently authorized mRNA vaccines as soon as possible. As discussed above, they are both highly effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19, i.e., reducing the risk of serious illness.

January 22, 2021

thank you consumerlab for this comprehensive "one stop shop"! it has been an invaluable resource!

January 22, 2021

(I've no connection with CL---I just love them.)
Yes, isn't it admirable when science gets respect, and orgs like ConsumerLab do intense work publishing and distributing information (that was some list of states!). I've been member of CL for many years and will continue doing so. Thank you ConsumerLab...!

May 30, 2021


August 1, 2021

My situation: Rec'd Moderna vac in January, but was denied a 2nd dose because I mentioned a rash from dose 1. Now I am concerned that boosters are being discussed for "fully vaccinated" folks & from what I have seen, I would not qualify. I was denied because I got a rash at the vac site. Later the rash description was clarified. Mine was not severe! I feel like I am in some kind of black hole!

August 31, 2021

resolved for now. I was able to get the 2nd vaccine this it looks like I will be eligible for a booster in 8 months. No adverse reaction at all.

January 10, 2021

My daughter (age 31) is a physician and received her 2nd dose of Pfizer vaccine on Jan. 8, 2021. She had a sore arm and a little achiness with 1st dose and more sore arm, chills, achiness, headache, fatigue with 2nd dose. Today (Jan. 10) she is feeling perfectly fine. She has 2 children ages 5 and 1(who she still breastfeeds a couple times each day). We are so grateful for the scientists who worked so hard to get these vaccines! The chance of long term effects, for many, of getting Covid, seem to be much higher than any known long term effects of the vaccine.

January 4, 2021

Thankyou Consumer Lab for your excellent reporting and trust worthy information on COVID! I am in healthcare and have been watching the research info as it is published. I look forward to taking the vaccine, but have decided to give up my place to others with more risk. I am able to work on-line and thus have a lower risk than many others
January 13, 2021

Thank you for your kind words Carole, and for your service to others.

December 31, 2020

I am a 68 year old woman. Pfizer vaccine on 12/18, no arm discomfort or any ill feeling. The physician I work for shared the same experience.

February 1, 2021

Me too, - not even arm pain. Some concern because I could only schedule 2nd dose 4 weeks later.

December 30, 2020

I am a Critical Care RN & am exposed to CoVid patients while I wear my PPE. I am not fully accepting of taking this vaccine as yet. What is the immunity 6 months, 1 year, etc from dual vaccination? What are any long term effects of this mRNA vaccine? How about child bearing women taking this mRNA vaccine for their future child?

February 22, 2021

I too am looking for that information, primarily because the majority of those I know to have been infected had very mild symptoms or were a-symptomatic. Only a couple have been very sick and they do have underlying conditions. But I do know several who have been very symptomatic post-vaccine - more than just a sore arm, including anaphylaxis. Thank you Consumer Labs for keeping us informed.

April 22185
February 28, 2021

All great questions Lynn. I wonder the same.

March 10, 2021

I don't think "long-term" effects are known just yet. The vaccine has only been available for a few months now so no one really knows. This is why I have chosen to hold off for a while. I am home all the time anyway so I believe I am safe for now.
March 10, 2021

To date, the data from millions of doses given over the past several months continue to indicate that the authorized vaccines are safe and effective. For people who intend to interact in-person with others, the benefits so far seem to overwhelmingly outweigh the risks.

the other Mark
March 24, 2021

Good question Lynne. ConsumerLab states at the end of their article (in a nutshell): "Although the long-term safety of these vaccines is still unknown.... If an authorized medical product shows evidence of serious safety issues ... the FDA can revoke the authorization." Good idea to wait and see, imo.
March 24, 2021

In the opinion of most experts, this is not a reason to "wait and see." It simply shows that the FDA has not gone into this blindly, but is being open about the facts and process. The FDA has the right to revoke authorization of all products it has authorized, just as it has the right to withdraw approval of drugs that have gone through more lengthy clinical trials if safety or efficacy issues arise post-marketing.

December 29, 2020

I am a 45 year old male and received the first shot from Moderna on 12/23/20. Significant tenderness at the shot location, twice as bad as I get with the flu shot but not bothersome. Did have minor nausea the day after the shot and minor malaise but this went away the next day.

Gerald 21759
December 28, 2020

My wife and I had Covid-19 last March but did not realize that it was Covid-19. My wife thought she had Bronchitis and treated it as that, but she quarantined herself while she had a fever. I was asymptomatic and discovered that I had had it when I donated blood in September. Since I was asymptomatic, my blood could not be used for for treating hospitalized patients with Covid-19. My wife wants to be vaccinated as soon as it is available. I am more cautious and will wait for more long term studies before being vaccinated.

December 28, 2020

Pfizer vaccine on a12/23/20. Only very slight arm discomfort at injection site. No problems at all.

December 30, 2020

Me too. Had it on December 18, only arm discomfort similar to a flu shot

December 28, 2020

Got the first Pfizer vaccine/shot on 12/22...I had some soreness in my shoulder that night and was a little tired. The amount injected seemed smaller than the typical flu shot— I usually have more soreness and symptoms with the yearly flu shot.

December 28, 2020

It would be helpful to know the ages of those being vaccinated and commenting. I have read that younger adults may have more of an immune response, thus more side effects than older adults whose immune system is dampened down as a natural result of aging. Curious as to whether this plays out. Thank you Consumerlab for keeping us informed.

February 14, 2021

Good point! Great suggestion!

December 28, 2020

I received the Moderna vaccine 12/26. Only sore at injection site. No other symptoms. I did take Advil but was later told that analgesics may reduce the efficacy of the vaccine? Not sure if that’s true.

Gale 21791
December 31, 2020

Does taking a Benadryl prior to injection to reduce chance of reaction to vaccine? Or taking a Benadryl right after vaccination? In general, does taking a Benadryl affect the efficacy of the vaccine?
January 13, 2021

We've added information about this in the answer above. Please see the section about antihistamines.

December 28, 2020

Why is it that the same dose of any vaccine or all medicines are given to a large size man and a small woman? Shouldn’t there be more dose regulation?
December 30, 2020

Unlike most medications, which need to be distributed throughout the body -- such that dosage will depend on body size and other factors -- vaccines generally work at or near the injection site. They are designed to use the smallest dose necessary to generate an immune response, and thus can often be used at the same dose in children and adults, regardless of the person's size. When higher doses of vaccines are needed in adults, it is not due to the size of the person but, rather, because the immune system weakens with age. A good explanation of this, which has been reviewed by Paul Offit, MD, a noted vaccine scientist, is found at

January 4, 2021

Thank you for your reply. I understand now about vaccine dosages, but I am 68 years old now. I have been sensitive to all medications for all of my adult life. I get side effects from everything I’ve tried including statins and even Tylenol. If I take an anticholergic drug I start to lose my memory after a few days. That’s why it scares me about any vaccine. I also have fear of getting a serious illness and not being able to fight it off with medication.

February 7, 2021

I'm 75 years old. I have been sensitive to all medications too. I got my first Moderna vaccine on 1-26-21. Two minutes after getting the shot my blood pressure went up to 199/111 , my heart rate was 97. I had shortness of breath, dizziness, burning in my chest, headache, my heart was pounding hard. The nurse offered Benadryl and EpiPen. I took the Benadryl and my symptoms slowly improved. I wasn't sure taking the EpiPen first time in my life with the high blood pressure is advisable or not. After about 40 minutes I was able to go home. I had joint and muscle pain , frequent irregular heart beats for three days. I cancelled my appointment for the second shot after talking to my primary care doctor.

February 25, 2021

Maria, Thanks for reporting this.

July 4, 2021

My wife experienced breathing problems about 48 hrs after getting the Pfizer shot. She took Benadryl and the symptoms went away. Reported this to VAERS.

December 27, 2020

Is there information regarding the safety of the vaccine in a person with COPD and Leukaemia.

December 27, 2020

Received Pfizer vaccine on 12-21, no side effects other than moderate soreness at site for about 24 hours.

January 3, 2021

Age 79 - received Pfizer vaccine on 12/28/20 = minor discomfort at injection site (LESS than standard Flu vaccine) - some discomfort in upper arm for a couple of days, and maybe less energy - but otherwise fine. thank you -

December 27, 2020

Medical Interpreter, vaccinated 12/22 with the Pfizer vaccine: injection was mildly noticeable, but no injection site or arm pain afterwards. No malaise, fever, or other symptoms with the possible exception of some neck pain that woke me up in the night (12 hrs later) - but I have been having neck pain issues for about a year now, so the vaccine may not have been the cause or only exacerbated somewhat the existing discomfort. So far, so good!

December 29, 2020

FYI, I am 65.

January 20, 2021

Have you tried a new pillow?

December 27, 2020

I am a healthcare provider. I received the Moderna shot # 1 on 12/23. No other side effects besides muscle soreness in the arm in which I received the shot- much like when receiving a flu shot. Lasted a couple of days, not a problem.

December 27, 2020

I received the Pfizer vaccine on 12/15. Had muscle soreness for about 48 hours after the injection. I also gave around 110 vaccines. I had one allergic reaction in a person without history of allergies. Within 20 minutes she developed facial rash, flushing and itching. I immediately gave her Benadryl 50 mg and watched her for another hour. The rash and itching subsided a bit and I had her take Benadryl 50 mg every 8 hours for the next 24 hours without any further issues.
December 28, 2020

Thanks for posting your experience, Sharon, and for being a frontline healthcare worker!

December 27, 2020

Received 1st dose of Pfizer vaccine 12/19/20, arm ache about 6-7 hours after injection easily treated with 1 dose acetaminophen 500mg. Next day only minimal arm soreness. No other symptoms.

December 27, 2020

I got the Pfizer vaccine on 12/19. I had soreness at the injection site but no other issues/side effects.

April 26, 2021

Thank you for that information!

December 27, 2020

After around a month after second vaccine, cellular immunity should be active. When will titers be available? Did they even consider that?

December 25, 2020

Pfizer #1 received 12/19/2020. No site tenderness, no fever, no fatigue, no problems.

December 24, 2020

Vaccinated with Moderna12/23, less (essentially no) discomfort compared to high dose influenza vaccine

December 24, 2020

I received the first Pfizer vaccine 12/22 and only had very slight soreness at injection site. No fever or fatigue.

December 24, 2020

Received first dose on Saturday, 12/19. Had mild pain and swelling around injection site on 12/20. Other than that, no problems.

December 23, 2020

I have reactions to most pharmaceuticals and do not intend to get this vaccine. Instead, I keep my immune system high and will keep to my daily routine of what works for me. Good luck, I appreciate your helpful advice, but this is not for me.

December 24, 2020

I used to - then I stopped taking generics and started taking only brands. Things got much better. There was a major study in Boston in late 2019, with a follow up study around July 2020. The first one was widely covered in the consumer medical press This isn’t it but...

December 27, 2020

It is obvious that no one is having an allergic reaction to a second dose. No one has received a second dose yet. People do not receive a second does until 21 days has passed. People are having an allergic reaction to the first dose. For people having a reaction to the first dose, they have been told not to get a second dose.

January 27, 2021

Well, as of 1/27/21, a nurse who works with my daughter-in-law had a pretty bad reaction, not bad enough to get admitted, but was down for the count a couple of days. But haven't heard about others. Said daughter-in-law had to take a day off, but was not as bad as her friend.

December 23, 2020

I was vaccinated on 12/18 with the Pfizer vaccine, site was a bit sore for a day or two but otherwise no symptoms.

December 23, 2020

Good to know!

December 23, 2020

Thanks for sharing!

December 23, 2020

How about people with MCAS or ME?
December 28, 2020

Please see the information about both of these conditions that we've added to the answer above.

February 22, 2021

I suffer from M.E. I had my first Pfizer shot on Feb 5. About three hours after I had uncontrolled sleepiness, brain fogginess, and was quite out of it for 2-3 days. But these symptoms were very very different than my usual M.E. symptoms. No fever. No headache. Tolerable arm soreness. By fourth day I was back to "normally unwell." I'm 72. Second shot later this week, which I'll take.

December 23, 2020

Thank you CL for posting these comments. I feel I can trust your site due to your independence. I'm still on the fence about this vaccine and this type of unadulterated opinion is like a breath of fresh air. Please continue this exchange.

December 23, 2020

I was vaccinated on 12/21 with the Pfizer vaccine. I had a lot of arm soreness and was a bit fatigued, but much better as of 12/23. We’ll see how round two goes in January!

December 23, 2020

I was vaccinated (Pfizer) December 16, my only side effects have been much less fear going to work along with relief and joy. I am a physician practicing medicine in Houston, Texas.

December 23, 2020

You are one of the heroes, and very much appreciated!!

December 23, 2020

No way !!!!!

Suzanne 21668
December 23, 2020

How about people who are allergic to iodinated contrast dye?
December 28, 2020

The safety of the COVID-19 vaccines in people with a history of reaction to iodine contrast agents is unknown, but at this time the vaccines are not contraindicated in people with this condition.

February 13, 2021

My husband is allergic to just about everything. His list of known allergens is long. He had severe anaphylactic shock after receiving contrast a couple of times (different contrasts). He got the Pfizer vaccine, was closely monitored and except having a mild sore arm had no other problems.

February 25, 2021

Interesting and good to know this.

December 23, 2020

I would like to know exactly what is in this vaccine. Is it true that they use the cells of aborted babies in this vaccine?
December 23, 2020

Although several candidate COVID-19 vaccines use historical fetal-derived cells to produce vaccine components (, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines do not. However, both vaccines were tested in laboratory studies using HEK293 cells, a cell line derived from human embryonic kidney cells taken from an aborted fetus in the early 1970s (;

December 24, 2020

Thank you so much for letting me know.

December 23, 2020

I have a question; what about the long term effects of MRNA vaccines? Time frames that are greater than 2 years. Are they safe in these circumstances?

December 23, 2020

Does the vaccine have thimerosal in it? I'm unable to find this info online and am allergic to mercury.
December 23, 2020

The prescribing information for both the Pfizer ( and Moderna ( COVID-19 vaccines state that they do not contain preservatives (thimerosal is a preservative), and the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services ( and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia ( note on their websites that neither of these vaccines contain thimerosal or ethylmercury.

March 10, 2021

However, you might want to ask when you get the shot for them to read the ingredients on the bottle. I asked for a regular flu shot this year without preservatives and they were about to give me the one they had saying it had no preservatives....they said the shot was covered by my insurance. That threw up a red flag for me because the shot without thimerosal or ethylmercury is not covered by insurance and I usually pay $40 for it. So I told her to check the ingredients and sure enough, it had thimerosal in it. She was surprised and looked at all the bottles they had in stock and found the one without the thimerosal. If you are allergic then I advise to double-check whenever getting any flu shot.

December 23, 2020

I am a pharmacist and I will not be getting this vaccine. Not enough time and study to claim that this vaccine is safe

December 23, 2020

Agree !!!!!!!!!!

December 23, 2020

How much time would help you feel more confident. I agree with you about preferring more time and study yet my fear of COVID 19 outweighs my fear of the vaccine.

December 23, 2020

Many lives were saved during the raging AIDS epidemic of the 80's-90's by drugs that were approved for off-label use by the FDA. This "compassionate use" model actually produced treatments that were very successful in treating some HIV- related diseases. Sometimes the gamble with unknowns are well worth it.

December 24, 2020

I am not usually a strong vaccine proponent but in this case felt being vaccinated was for the common good as I am at a high risk for exposure in my work and more data is needed for individuals to know whether the vaccine is right for them or not. I received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine yesterday. I am only experiencing mild to moderate soreness in the arm with the injection site. This has subsided throughout the day.

December 28, 2020

We also don't know if there will be any longer consequences to having COVID. I'm getting my shot tomorrow

January 3, 2021

Kaiser has not given me a vaccination date however for those of you speaking about not getting vaccinated, I assume all of you were too young to grow up with polio all around you. Along with all my young elementary school friends, I lived in fear of polio and the dreaded fate of the iron lung. I was one of the first to receive the Salk vaccine. And of course all the others. I was only 5 years old and remembered the relief that I have been vaccinated. I am 73 and confess I am shocked that people are avoiding getting the vaccine. Clearly, the option is to get the vaccine. For those of you who have children, it is putting your own children in harm's way. Too many people need to refresh their memories about all the vaccines you had to go to school. And yes, I do remember the progression and advancement of treatment for AIDS. I was living in NYC when AIDS swept through the community and we lost so many precious souls.

January 10, 2021

Responding to Mary above: It looks like you're talking about therapeutics (rather than vaccines) when you state "Sometimes the gamble with unknowns is well worth it". I completely agree that the off-label repurposing of existing drugs (that have long been approved by the FDA for other indications) is an excellent idea, as such drugs already have a known safety profile. At least two off-patent drugs (one Nobel prize winner, both of which are anti-parasitics on the WHO list of essential medicines) that are being repurposed for Covid with success. Unlike newly-patented, expensive or labor-intensive therapeutics, these low-cost drugs are highly scalable across large populations. In an emergency (pandemic) situation, all options should be on the table due to the urgent need to save lives.

January 10, 2021

I also agree that the development of new therapeutics for HIV has been an incredible success story. Though the war on HIV began long after the war on cancer was declared, HIV drug development seems to have leap-frogged ahead, and now those with HIV can live normal lifespans. For example my uncle, who is 85 and fit, has an undetectable viral load from taking one convenient combination pill per day.

April 26, 2021

I am old enough to have had the small pox vaccination and took the polio sugar cube. I was hesitant with the covid shot,, but also have Hashimotos disease which was most likely caused by a virus that I had as a child. I am learning that long hauler covid patients are developing a lot of health issues, My parents didn't hesitate to have me vaccinated back in the 60's. The more I learn of the Pfizer and Moderna shot, the happier I am that I got a shot. What else do we have at this point?

Donnie 21657
December 23, 2020

Regarding the sentence, "To find out more about the ingredients in these vaccines, see section "13 Description" of the prescribing information for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines": Is there anywhere this information can be found online?
December 23, 2020

If you click on the words "Pfizer" or "Moderna" in that sentence, you should be re-directed to the prescribing information for the corresponding vaccine.

Donnie 21689
December 23, 2020

Thanks! :) Guess I missed it due to the highlighting.

December 23, 2020

My arm and shoulder were pretty sore for a day, but otherwise no side effects

December 23, 2020

I am a Registered Dietitian who works with Oncology patients. I got the Pfizer shot yesterday. Today I have a sore arm and some fatigue.

February 1, 2021

Can you take Tylenol after the vaccine?
February 4, 2021

Hi Jeanette, we've added information about this in the answer above. Please see the section about pain relievers, including acetaminophen (Tylenol).

December 21, 2020

I am a pediatric nurse practitioner working in a primary care practice. I received the Pfizer vaccine yesterday. So far, no side effects!
December 21, 2020

Thanks for posting, Wendy, and, if possible, please let us know how the second dose goes!

December 22, 2020

I have concerns about the elimination of people who had allergies in the control groups.

PEG has never been used before in an approved vaccine, but it is found in many drugs that have occasionally triggered anaphylaxis—a potentially life-threatening reaction that can cause rashes, a plummeting blood pressure, shortness of breath, and a fast heartbeat. Some allergists and immunologists believe a small number of people previously exposed to PEG may have high levels of antibodies against PEG, putting them at risk of an anaphylactic reaction to the vaccine.

December 23, 2020

Wendy thanks for posting your personal experience, always helpful to hear!
December 23, 2020

Hi Judith, to address your concerns we've added information about allergic reactions and PEG in the answer above.

December 23, 2020

What is PEG and how do I know if I've been exposed to it? Thank you.
December 23, 2020

Hi Gloria, please see the information about PEG that we've added to the answer above, including common medications containing PEG.

December 23, 2020

Ah, yes, It's what's in Miralax.

Leslie Dack22777
June 18, 2021


December 21, 2020

I am a physician at a large hospital network. I quickly forgot I even got a vaccine! Knock on wood no arm pain, fatigue, headache or anything at all.
December 21, 2020

Thanks for sharing that, Anna. Please let us know how the 2nd dose goes in few weeks.

December 23, 2020

Why do you assume that’s a good thing? A strong reaction means your immune system is responding.

December 24, 2020

I have been wondering about that. When elderly people are eligible for the vaccine, if I don't have a reaction, I think I will always wonder if I was one of the few who didn't develop immunity.

December 21, 2020

I am 75yo RN working with Covid patients. I had Covid confirmed on 11/28, did not have to go to the hospital but was not feeling well for a couple of weeks after, low grade fever, diarrhea, dry cough, very lethargic. I did take massive doses of vitamin D for the first couple of days which I felt helped me not to get worse. I was advised to get the vaccine anyway. I got the Pfizer vaccine at work on Friday. I didn't feel well the next day fever of 101, lethargic, fuzzy thinking, achy, sore arm. Another co worker said she only had a sore arm and a little headache.
December 21, 2020

Thank you for sharing your experience, Susan. Please let us know how the 2nd dose goes.

December 21, 2020

How are you feeling now?

January 27, 2021

I too had the 1st Moderna dose on 12/23 and experienced severe headache, fatigue, fever, chills and foggy thinking. Got the 2nd dose yesterday and feel worse than how i felt after the 2st shot. I work in healthcare and work directly with COVID-19 patients. I also contacted COVID-19 back in July- was very ill and off work for 3 1/2 weeks. Had to call in sick today as i woke up with a fever of 99.9 and all the other symptoms listed above with diarrhea added. It will be worth it in the long run. Don't let my experience deter you from getting the vaccines.

December 21, 2020

I am a Cardiovascular Perfusionist. Rec'd the first shot (Phizer) on Wed. 12/16 @ 12:30 pm. No pain, no side effects until waking up at midnight with a very sore arm and muscle soreness extending into my hand, neck and back (only on the injection site side). Very painful for 24 hours but mostly relieved with ibuprofen. Completely resolved within 24 hours. No other side effects at all.

December 20, 2020

I am a chaplain at a hospital. I received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Thursday about 1 pm. I have had no side effects, except possibly my nose was running more than normal that night. It may also have been allergies.
December 20, 2020

Thank you for posting your experience!

December 20, 2020

Hi and thank you for getting helpful information to the public. I am an anesthetist and I got the Pfizer vaccine on 12/19/20. The shot itself was painless. My arm was slightly sore and the next morning it felt like I'd been punched but that subsided. The only other effect is a renewed since of optimism for the future!

December 20, 2020

Am a physician at a large urban hospital. I got the vaccine on Wednesday 12/16 at 1 pm. By midnight my arm was killing me and I was having aches, pains, and chills. The next day I was exhausted and slept all day. By Friday I felt fine.
December 20, 2020

Thanks for posting, Michelle!

December 23, 2020

So helpful to hear this honest range of experience so we non-healthcare folk can be properly prepared!

December 20, 2020

I’m a physician with the VA. Got my first shot (Pfizer) early Friday Dec. 18. Had a subjective sense of being spacey but functioned fine (alerted my colleagues about my shot and sense of myself- they didn’t notice anything amiss). Sore arm, very sleepy that evening, doing well since.

December 23, 2020

Also a VA physician. I got the Pfizer vaccine yesterday morning, first shot. Similarly I experienced a spacy feeling for about an hour, starting a half hour after the shot. Fine today.

December 20, 2020

I'm grateful for this resource that allows us to read about the experience of those who are receiving the vaccine. As a physician who is working remotely at the moment, I am not in the front of the line.

My patients would like to know if anyone with autoimmune disease had a flare-up, what might be the experience of people with multiple chemical sensitivities, with mood challenges like depression and anxiety, with a history of migraines, digestive problems, etc.

I've read the Pfizer trial documents in detail, and there is no mention of autoimmunity or chronic fatigue for example, that I could find. I would be happy to pass on any information that can reassure my most sensitive patients. Clearly they are also at risk from COVID-19 itself, but they also fear the vaccine.

T Allen
December 23, 2020

I resemble the above comment and appreciate the attempt(s) to get real time data!

December 27, 2020

My husband is like your patients, so we would also like more information about people's reactions to the vaccine. I think he's going to get it when offered, because the benefits outweigh the risks. However, he's the person who always experiences the worst possible side effects from medications and we're concerned that his body may not react well to this vaccine.

Gale 21793
December 31, 2020

I appreciate comments above as I and others in my family have Celiac Disease and severe shell fish allergies among others. Interested if anyone w/similar problems has been vaccinated without bad reactions?

January 9, 2021

I am a 44 year old pharmacy tech with astshma, alpha-1 antitripsin deficiency and a history of hemiplegic migraines. Also anaphylaxis to peanuts. I got the Pfizer vaccine and only experienced soreness and some tingling in my hand on the injected arm. Sleepy for about 48 hours after injection.

February 25, 2021

Gale, my good friend has Celiac. She had both Moderna shots with no problems!

April 26, 2021

I have Hashimotos, an auto immune condition. Had first Pfizer shot over a week ago, Pain in the injection site, but nothing out or the ordinary, The next day, became very tired but not sleepy. Sat and watched TV and drank tea. Felt fine the next day.

June 6, 2021

Hello, I have ankylosing spondylitis and Type 1 diabetes. I had a flare after both shots. I had achilles tendinitis for the first time in my life with AS starting 2 days after first and second shot and resolving over about a week. My bloodglucose was slightly elevated for about three days both times. I had severe fatigue for about two weeks after first shot which left quickly. The fatigue after the second shot lasted longer and faded more slowly. I am 54 and have had flares and neuropathic pain after other vaccines but know from experience that my immune reactions to disease is exponentially worse than any vaccine. I had Pfizer on 2/27 and 3/20.

December 20, 2020

Hi, as an RN at a local community hospital, I received the Pfizer vaccine on Friday afternoon - 12/18/2020 - the whole experience was well orchestrated and included being watched for 15 minutes for any possible immediate reaction. At home that evening, my arm was slightly sore at the injection site, and I had a very minimal headache. The soreness worsened to include my my whole upper arm overnight and only lasted about 24 hours. Now, Sunday, I feel great and am so thankful.
December 20, 2020

Thanks for sharing your experience, Theresa!

December 23, 2020

I’m an RN too but not working frontlines and I’m so happy for the brave frontline compatriots who are finally getting some protection!

December 20, 2020

I had the vaccine Friday, my arm was sore for 1 day.I took Tylenol and ibuprofen.
December 20, 2020

Thanks for posting, Laurie!

December 20, 2020

Thank you for the information.

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