ATLANTA – We learn more about how our bodies respond to the COVID-19 vaccine.
While most people have little reaction to their first shot, a select few get pretty sick. And now we may know why.
The reason may be that your body is already familiar with this virus.
For Mike Christensen, 2021 started an offensive start with a fight against coronavirus.
It told the resident of Forsyth County Channel 2s Justin Wilfon that he finally recovered after a few weeks. But then just last week, a familiar feeling returned.
“I woke up with a headache, fever, and I was like that for about 24 hours,” he said.
Just the day before, Christensen had received his first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The highest fever was 102.4. And the highest fever I had when I actually had COVID was 100.5. So it was higher fever. It felt like I had COVID again, ”Christensen said.
According to a recent study by the medical school at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, this is a common first-shot phenomenon: People who have had the virus are more likely to have side effects from the first shot.
Wilfon spoke with Dr. Mark Cohen, chief medical officer at Piedmont Hospital, on why this is happening.
“When your immune system sees something that you’ve seen before, you’re all interested in it,” Cohen said. “So the cellular response, the antibody response, comes much faster, much more intense. And with that comes all the inflammatory activity that comes with it. ”
But Cohen also warned that the study involved only a small group of people, saying more data needed to be collected before doctors could definitively link a strong first-shot response to previous exposure to the virus.
Either way, he said that possible shot-induced symptoms should not prevent anyone from getting the vaccine.
“Tylenol, Ibuprofen are very effective in knocking them out in a day, a day and a half. It’s very short, ”Cohen said.
And even after his strong symptoms, Christensen said it will not stop him from getting his second shot later this month.
“I would still advise people to get it. It was a minor hassle, ”Christensen said.
The study also showed that people who have had the virus developed higher levels of antibodies after the first shot. So you may suffer a little more than those who have not had the virus, but you walk away with a higher level of antibodies.