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First dose dos and don’ts

In this recent article in the online magazine The List, Natalie A. Williams, MDARC Family Medicine physician, talks about vaccine efficacy between the first and second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, as well as what a return to "normalcy" will look like and what it will take for us all to stay safe, post-vaccine.

Do wait

"According to the existing clinical trial data, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine have a relatively weak immune response after just one dose," she explains. "To be fully protected, you need two doses of these vaccines. So, hold off on activities until you at least get your second dose."

Don’t take off that mask yet

Dr. Williams recommends until you get your second dose, "you should still be cautious and adhere to the same safety measures as before you were vaccinated." She explains that after the first dose, symptoms such as sore arm, low-grade fever, fatigue, and even nausea are common and not to be worried about. However, she adds that it's common for symptoms to be more intense after the second dose, but that they should minimize or disappear completely away after a day or two.

Contracting COVID after the first dose

According to Dr. Williams, it's important to understand the concept of efficacy in the context of COVID-19. "Efficacy is more about how well the vaccine works when tested in a controlled way," she says. "Initial studies of efficacy don't take into consideration unknowns that are specific to certain people (such as if they're immune-compromised or elderly) or even viral changes (like we're seeing now with new variants) that can occur. We have had patients who have gotten COVID after only one dose of the vaccine, which is more likely to occur than after getting the second dose. This is why getting both shots is so important."

Make an appointment with Dr. Williams

Dr. Williams is an ARC Family Medicine doctor who sees patients at ARC clinics as needed. Currently, you can schedule directly for an appointment for this week only.

Dr. Williams will be at ARC East 7th Street in East Austin when it opens in 2021 and is accepting new patients. Book an appointment at ARCBookNow.com or by calling ARC East 7th Street at 512-272-4636.

Read the full article in The List.

Tags: COVID-19 vaccine trial

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