What to expect when getting a Pfizer booster shot

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BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) — At Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, health care workers are now administering the Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot to those who are eligible.

“If you’re 65 and above and you’ve received your second dose of the Pfizer vaccine greater than six months ago, it’s important to get a booster,” explained Trey Dobson, Chief Medical Officer. “Data has shown that it will help you’re immune response to fighting off COVID.”

But a booster shot is not to be confused with a third dose. While the amount of the vaccine is the same, the time in which it is given is different. Third doses are typically given to those who are immunocompromised 21-28 days after getting their second shot. Boosters are for those who got their second dose at least six months prior.

While everyone is different, it is possible to have side effects after getting the third dose or booster.

“You can’t predict it, though,” said Dobson. “I’ve seen so many people who had no symptoms from the first and second, and they got fevers and chills from the third, or the complete opposite. Or they’ve experienced it each time. It’s just your body fighting off what it perceives to be an illness, and it will last less than 24 hours, typically. And afterwards, you’re protected against COVID-19.”

Even though side effects are a possibility, doctors say it should not deter you from getting the shot.

“If you have a reaction to the vaccine where you’re out for 24 hours with a fever or chills, that’s so much better than getting COVID-19 itself, which of course can move into long COVID — where you can have symptoms for months, and nobody wants that.”

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