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December 18, 2020
For a fraction of people, getting these first COVID-19 vaccines could be unpleasant—more than the usual unpleasantness of getting a shot. They might make you feel sick for a day or two, even though they contain no whole viruses to actually infect you. Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are quite “reactogenic”—meaning they stimulate a strong immune response that can cause temporary but uncomfortable sore arms, fevers, chills, and headaches. In other words, getting them might suck a little, but it’s nowhere near as bad as COVID-19 itself.