Doctor explains potential reactions from second dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Doctor explains potential reactions from second dose of COVID-19 vaccine

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - It’s the third week of operations at the GEMA run mass vaccination site at Gulfstream.

That means they are officially administering 2nd doses.

There haven’t been crazy long lines, but leaders say they are seeing a steady flow of 400 to 800 cars daily.

But starting this week they are seeing some return for their second shot.

“We have done over 12,000 shots at this location that includes first and second that we’re getting into this week. You know with those numbers we are still looking pretty strong,” said GEMA Site Manager Collin Hopf.

Officials say whether you’re coming for the first or second shot, the site runs the same way. They say people are just as grateful now to get their vaccine as they were weeks ago.

“I’m glad I’ve got it, I decided to go ahead and get it because you know I don’t want to catch this stuff. I really don’t,” said Jan Johnson, Pooler Resident getting second shot.

With several showing up to get their second dose, some are worried about having stronger side effects. The CDC says some common ones from the vaccines include tiredness, headache, muscle pain and more. Doctors say there’s a reason why the second dose can have a stronger response, but not for all.

“You get your first dose and you tell your body, ‘hey, this is something you should remember and protect this person against.’ The second time we give them your body is primed. It knows that that’s not okay, that that’s there and so for some people the robustness, how much they have with regards to local reactions at the site can be higher, but it’s not necessarily 100 percent that everyone is going to have more symptoms with their second vaccine, but folks should recognize that there is a higher chance of it and again it’s not a sign that this vaccine is harmful of that it’s not doing it’s job, it’s just a sign that your immune system is working like it’s supposed to,” said Dr. Stephen Thacker, Associate Chief Medical Officer, Memorial Health.

Leaders at the mass vaccination site encourage those coming to get their shot to eat something and drink plenty of fluids afterwards. Sara got her second shot at the site Friday, and says she plans to take it easy now.

“Definitely like hearing from others I’m like okay, might be a rough road, but um I feel good I’m happy to get my second shot and so I took the weekend off and I’m going to just take care of myself,” said Sara Castellano, SCAD Student getting second shot.

That’s the best advice, take care of yourself. The CDC says side effects from the vaccine should go away within a few days.

But you are encouraged to call your doctor if things get worse after 24 hours or they do not subside.

Officials say after that second dose, you’re considered fully vaccinated two weeks later.

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