The Second COVID-19 Shot Is a Rude Reawakening for Immune Cells

My husband was shivering next to me at 2 AM on Thursday morning. He had been lying in bed for hours, exhausted, but unable, with chills, fever, and an agonizingly sore right arm, while he tried to sleep. His teeth chattered. His forehead was swollen from sweat. As I laid next to him, wrapping blanket after blanket around my arms, I felt a tremendous sense of relief. This was an indication that his immune cells had responded to the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and were now ready to protect him against future diseases.

My colleague mentioned that side effects are part of the vaccination process. However, not everyone will experience them. The two COVID-19 vaccines, Moderna and BioNTech, have been approved for emergency use in the United States. They are well-respected for their ability to boost the immune system.

Dose No. Dose No. 2 is more powerful than the first shot, in large part due to the cumulative effects of the second shot. My husband, a Yale New Haven Hospital neurologist, had a worse experience after his second shot.

As with any learning process, repetition is key. The immune system begins to take the attack seriously after the second injection. This is an indication that the immune system is strengthening its defenses against the virus.

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