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VERIFY: Yes, the first and second dose of the COVID vaccines are the same

Both doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines are the same but the way people react to the second dose is often different.

SPOKANE, Wash — As of Tuesday afternoon, 2.59% of Washington’s population had been fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University. In Idaho the percentage is a bit lower 2.12% of the population.

It’s certainly progresses, but we’re still a long way from achieving so-called, herd immunity. The data shows that far more people have received their first shot and are still waiting for their second dose. The KREM 2 Verify Team has received numerous questions about the second dose and whether it’s different from the first.

THE QUESTION

Are both the first and second doses of the COVID vaccine the same?

THE ANSWER

Yes. Both doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines are the same but the way people react to the second dose is often different.

WHY WE ARE VERIFYING

Viewer, Arlen asked: Is the second dose from the Pfizer vaccine the same as the first? Am I getting the same each time? Another emailer, Virginia, wrote, “Regarding the Modern vaccine, are the first and second doses identical?

WHAT WE FOUND

To answer this question The Verify Team reached out to Doctor Anna Wald, a board-certified physician. She is also the head of the Allergy and Infectious Diseases Division at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine. In addition, Dr. Wald serves as the director of UW’s Virology Research Clinic at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

“What is injected is exactly the same,” said Dr. Anna Wald.

Dr. Wald said while there’s no difference between the first and second doses, how people react to the second dose is often different from how they reacted to the first.

“How people respond is often not the same because once you’ve had one injection, your immune system is regulated and all excited to see this molecule and when it sees those molecules again it can produce a stronger response,” she said. “So, a lot of people report that with the second shot they’re more likely to have flu like illness or a very sore arm.”

The CDC explains that side effects like, fever, chills, headache and tiredness are normal – and a sign that your body is building protection against the virus. But those symptoms should go away in a few days.

”{The Symptom} Usually resolves completely in two-to-three days. Not everybody gets it but, yes this part of what has been observed in clinical trial and is considered normal,” Dr. Wald said.

If the symptoms don’t go away after a few days or get worse, the CDC recommends that you contact your doctor.