I got the vaccine for numerous reasons which all outweighed the side effects for me. I trust science and the vaccines. I also want to protect not only my friends and family, but my fellow humans in general who aren’t yet, or can’t be vaccinated. 

My First Dose

My first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine I had very mild side effects. I received my vaccine in the middle of the day, and by the endmy arm started feeling sore (this is normal)My arm felt worse the second day and continued to hurt until I went to bed that following night, totaling around 15 hours of soreness. 

About a week later I got what is known as COVID arm. It is a mild rash that starts as a circle around the injection site. For me, it gradually got bigger for about 5 days until the rash covered most of my forearm. It was not as itchy as a mosquito bite and it went away after a few days after its peak.  

PRO TIP: I put a little anti itch cream on it and that helped a lot with the irritation. 

After receiving my first dose of the vaccine, I had some mild side effects None of which prevented me from doing any of my day-to-day tasks. wasn’t worried for my second dose and I prepared the best I could beforehand by asking others what they experienced. I found that to be extremely helpful, so here is my story on getting vaccinated. 

My Second Dose Vaccination Timeline

I got the vaccine on a Thursday at noon, and by about 10:00 or 11:00 pm I started to not feel the best. I started to get some chills and mild body aches. Luckily it was late, and was already headed to bedhoping to sleep off many of the side effects.  

I fell asleep like normal, but I awoke up around 2:00 or 3:00 am with worsening body aches, chills and night sweats. I also was starting to feel feverish, so I got up and took some acetaminophen to help with my low-grade fever and body aches. I then went back to bed.  


When I woke up on Friday morning, I felt sweatier than before and my body aches were even worse. I took more acetaminophen to help with the aches and help with the low-grade fever.  

By around 2:00 pm on Friday, I no longer had any body aches and my fever was almost completely gone. I started to feel much better the rest of the day, besides feeling a little groggy and fatigued 

That night I still felt very mild chills. I woke up a few times in the night due to the night sweats causing me to feel extremely cold. I changed pajamas and blankets and went to back to bed.  


When I woke up Saturday morning, I felt very slow and not quite right.  later realized that I was dehydratedAfter drinking water and a bunch of Gatorade, to help with electrolytes, I felt much better. This brought me up to a total of 52 hours and then I was feeling 100% back to normal. Because I became so dehydrated, it took me a little longer than most people to recover.  

Today, about four weeks later, the only sign of having the vaccine is a pale bruise and the peace of mind knowing I’ve done my part to keep others safe. 

Knowing that I would get these symptoms would I still get the vaccine? My answer YESABSOLUTELY! While I didn’t feel good for about a day and a half, the lasting effects of COVID-19 could be much worse. 

What I Learned

If I had I worked harder at staying hydratedI would have felt better much sooner. So, if you find that you get chills mixed with sweat, have an electrolyte drink and lots of water on hand. 

Here are some tips that helped me: 

Stay hydrated with water and if needed a drink with electrolytes. 

Plan ahead to stay in bed or on the couch for about a day. 

Have medication on hand, such as Tylenol. 

Know who to call if your symptoms become much worse or last more than a few days. 

Others that I know that got the Moderna vaccine experienced similar side effects as myself. They did not have any problems with sweating but had all the other side effects, such as feeling achy, fatigued and feverish. All of them felt much better sooner than 48 hours after the time of the vaccine, and most within 24 hours.  

Have questions or concerns about your COVID-19 vaccine? Contact Ask-A-Nurse at askanurse@winona.edu or 507.457.2292. 

– Alice Bygd ‘23 

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