Your COVID-19 vaccine questions answered with University Health’s Dr. Alsip

How long does vaccine last? What are the side effects? What happens if you skip the second dose?

SAN ANTONIO – With the COVID-19 vaccines still being relatively new, it’s understandable that many people still have questions about how it works, who should get it and how much protection it offers.

University Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bryan Alsip answered some of the most frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccines. You can read his responses below and watch a video in the video player above.

How much protection does a first dose of the vaccine provide?

The best protection comes from two doses in a two-dose series, but data available for the two vaccines that are currently authorized indicate that a single dose offers some protection anywhere from 50 to 80 percent efficacy.

How soon do you start developing immunity after the first dose?

The initial response comes around two weeks after your dose of vaccine, it’s about as long as it takes for your immunity to kick, in your antibodies to develop and so forth.

What do I do if I feel bad after getting the vaccine?

Side effects are common with both vaccines that are currently authorized, but they tend to be relatively minor. Most people report either tenderness or swelling at the site of the injection, headache, fatigue, sometimes body aches and rarely fever. And in those cases, for the most part, people can take acetaminophen or Tylenol or ibuprofen to help with those symptoms. Generally speaking, they only last 24 or 48 hours as well.

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