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Side effects of the Covid-19 vaccine are linked to a higher antibody response

New research shows that people who experienced side effects from the Moderna Covid-19 and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, such as muscle pain, fever, chills, or chills, had a higher antibody response after vaccination.

According to a paper published in JAMA Network Open on Friday, having such symptoms after vaccination is associated w/more excellent antibody responses than having only pain at the injection site or no symptoms at any time.

In their paper, the researchers from Columbia University, the University of Vermont, and Boston University wrote that “These findings support reframing Postvaccination Symptoms as Signals of Vaccine Effectiveness and reinforce Guidelines for Vaccine Boosters in Older Adults”.

Although some may experience minor, localized side effects, or not at all, vaccines still produce strong immune responses. Nearly all participants in the study showed a positive antibody response following two doses of either the Moderna or BioNTech vaccine series.

“I don’t want a patient telling me, “Golly, I didn’t get any reaction. My arm wasn’t sore. I didn’t have a fever. “The vaccine didn’t work,” Dr. William Schaffner (a Vanderbilt University Medical Center professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and medical director of The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases) said.

Schaffner stated, “This is more for people who have had an allergic reaction to the vaccine that it’s their immune response, actually in quite a good way. Even though it has caused some discomfort.”

Researchers analyzed data from 928 adults who reported what symptoms they had after receiving Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines. They also submitted a dried blood spot for testing for antibodies. The majority of participants were White adults with an average age of 65.

Researchers found that 446 and 48% of participants experienced systemic symptoms after receiving either a vaccine or 12% only reported local symptoms, while 40% did not experience any symptoms.

In contrast, 444 participants had systemic symptoms, or 99%, while 99% had only local symptoms. 98% had no symptoms.

Schaffner stated, “Many people speculated over time whether people who had a stronger reaction to the vaccine might have that represent an immune response more robust.” These data support this hypothesis.

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