The new bivalent COVID booster: What are the side effects?
 
 
 
 
 
 

The new bivalent COVID booster: What are the side effects?

/ 09:19 AM September 19, 2022

Since fall and winter are coming, health experts are expecting a surge in COVID-19 cases. Recently, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention authorized a new type of booster shot, the Covid bivalent shot. If you head on to your nearest pharmacy or vaccination shot, they will give you this new type of COVID-19 vaccine.

It’s a bivalent booster which means it has the combination of the original coronavirus variant and the Omicron variant. The formulation of this new bivalent COVID-19 booster shot can give you stronger and better protection against the type of virus that’s currently circulating. Both Pfizer and Moderna have these new bivalent Covid vaccines.

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Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is only available to everyone 12 years and above. While those who are 18 and above are eligible for Moderna’s new booster. However, will this new type of vaccine give you different effects? Comparable to the previous vaccines and booster shots, there are side effects after vaccination. To give you more details, here are the most common side effects of the new COVID-19 booster.

Side Effects of the New Bivalent COVID-19 Booster

A virologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Andrew Pekosz said, “All the side effects from the bivalent booster (in clinical trials) were very similar to what we saw with the regular booster and even going back to the initial vaccination.” According to him and the US CDC, the effects are:

  • soreness
  • redness at the injection spot
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • muscle and joint pain
  • fever
  • swollen lymph node (normally at the armpits)

It’s important to note that these side effects are actually a good sign. A pediatric infectious disease professor at Stanford University told HuffPost that “most vaccines will have some degree of minor side effects. It is, in fact, the body’s immune and inflammatory response to the vaccine.”

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Aside from the normal side effects similar to the original vaccine, these COVID-19 bivalent booster shots can also give you swollen lymph nodes. This is one of the side effects reported after the first COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters. Some cases have reported that those who have undergone mammograms show swollen lymph nodes that intervened with their test results. As these can resemble a sign of breast cancer after screening. 

In the 2021 official COVID-19 vaccination guidance list, it said that you should delay scheduling a mammogram after getting a Covid vaccine. But the updated guidance list cites that “patients should not delay their screening mammogram because they were recently vaccinated.” If you have an upcoming mammogram schedule, just advise your doctor that you recently got vaccinated. This will avoid any possible issues with the results in the images.

Pain Reliever for the Side Effects

Furthermore, Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine in the department of health policy at Vanderbilt University said that if you’re experiencing any unpleasant effects, you can take a pain reliever like Tylenol. He also advised that over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines can make you feel better enough to go through your daily routines.

Shaffner also added that if your discomfort or pain felt worse, you should immediately contact your health provider. But detrimental effects are very rare with a ratio of few cases per million. In addition, the most adverse reactions occur within just 15 minutes after vaccination. This is the reason why health professionals asked you to stay for 15-30 minutes after your booster shot. This is so that the medical staff can completely monitor any symptoms.

Moreover, it’s important to get the new bivalent COVID-19 booster. With the emergence of the recent Covid subvariants that are more contagious than the original virus, you’ll have strong protection with the updated bivalent COVID-19 booster shot.

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