The One Side Effect Dr. Fauci Is Worried About With His Next COVID Shot

Allie Hogan
·3 min read

On Dec. 22, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), received his first COVID vaccine as the nation looked on. He was joined by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) director Francis Collins, and a handful of frontline workers. It's been almost a week since he received the vaccine, and he reports experiencing very minor reactions. However, Fauci is already anticipating one specific side effect when he goes back for his second dose of the vaccine. Read on to learn what he's preparing for when he returns for his next shot, and for major vaccine misconceptions, Dr. Fauci Just Debunked the 4 Biggest Myths About the COVID Vaccine.

Fauci predicts he'll be achy when he gets his second shot.

Man with back pain from sleeping wrong
Man with back pain from sleeping wrong

"When I get the boost, I might feel a little achy," Fauci told CNN's Dana Bash during State of the Union on Dec. 27. Fauci explained this reaction would be "because the immune system will be revving up even more" to build up immunity. The NIAID director says he'll be getting the booster shot in about three weeks. And for those eager to get immunized, If You Did This in 2020, You Can Get Your COVID Vaccine Sooner.

He's had very limited side effects from the vaccine.

dr. fauci getting first dose of COVID vaccine
dr. fauci getting first dose of COVID vaccine

After getting the Moderna vaccine on live TV, Fauci reported experiencing "nothing serious at all" in regards to side effects. "The only thing I had was about maybe six to 10 hours following the vaccine—I felt a little bit of an ache in my arm that lasted maybe 24 hours, a little bit more, then went away," Fauci told Bash. "Completely other than that, I felt no other deleterious type of effects."

During an interview with CBS News on Dec. 23, the day following his vaccination, Fauci explained that a sore arm following a vaccine is very common. "This is very typical of vaccinations," he said. "The same thing happened with other non-COVID vaccines that I've had over the years." And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Fauci has warned of vaccine side effects before.

Woman with headache and fever
Woman with headache and fever

Before the vaccine was even approved in the U.S., Fauci cautioned Americans to be prepared to potentially experience side effects from the shot. During a Nov. 23 interview with The Washington Post, Fauci said the main side effects people should expect are "a little discomfort in the arm, a little swelling, maybe a little ache, [and] fever" for 24 hours.

Now that millions of people have received the vaccine, there have been various reports about the side effects Fauci predicted, in addition to chills, fatigue, and a headache. And for more complications to be aware of, The CDC Is Warning You to Prepare For These COVID Vaccine Side Effects.

Overall, Fauci said the vaccine experience was "quite good."

Healthcare worker injecting COVID vaccine in female patient's arm at medical clinic.
Healthcare worker injecting COVID vaccine in female patient's arm at medical clinic.

Although most people don't enjoy getting shots, Fauci seemed pretty pleased with his COVID vaccine. He actually commended the vaccine experience. "It was really quite good, even as good or better than an influenza vaccine," Fauci said. And for more on vaccine rollout, If You Live in This State, You May Be Getting Your COVID Vaccine Sooner.