My Experience With the COVID-19 Vaccine (Second Dose).

One week ago, I *finally* got my second dose of the Moderna vaccine… almost two entire months after I got my first one. You can read about my first dose here (+ thoughts on the vaccine, how I got an appt, etc.).

When I got my first vaccine February 1, everything was all unicorns and rainbows: “We’ll schedule your second vaccine appointment for you in 28 days!”

But no one scheduled any vaccine appointment; in fact, I was semi-freaking out when 21 days passed and I hadn’t heard a peep from the medical provider.

I tried calling and emailing, but had no luck — I knew everyone was trying to get a vaccine and I wondered when I would be able to get mine and wrap this thing up.

I was very lucky to be able to get my first dose pretty early in the game, but it’s recommended that you get the second dose between 28-42 days after you get your first one.

I started reading up on what happens if you can’t get your vaccine in that time frame, and what I found was, that basically nothing happens, you should just get your vaccine as soon as possible.

I don’t blame anyone that works at the medical facility. I know this is a giant, unorganized mess, and the freeze we had in Texas didn’t help anything.

I ended up being able to get a second appointment via email — I emailed so much!

As of yesterday — March 29, 2021 — everyone in Texas is eligible to get the vaccine.

Yesterday, the CDC said the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines were 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 two weeks after the second dose.

But despite more than 51 million people in the country being fully vaccinated, COVID-19 cases are back on the rise as variants continue to spread and restrictions are eased across the country.

If you’re interested in getting the vaccine, please make a proactive effort to get it. Look up waitlists in your area and any “vaccine events” that may be happening. In Austin, major grocery stores and large venues have been hosting locations for drive-thru vaccine efforts.

You can also sign up for Dr. B, which is a country-wide list that alerts you when a vaccine dose in your area is about to go in the trash — unless you want to take it! Sign up at

Did you experience any side effects from the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?

I’ve heard various things about side effects from the second dose, such as major fatigue or “feels like the flu.” I felt really ill-prepared for the side effects I had with the first dose, so I pretty much prepped like I was going to die.

It’s very strange to “plan” to be sick, but better safe than sorry. Here’s what I did to prep:

  • Finished any work items on the schedule for the day after the vaccine
  • Made soup + stocked my pantry with ramen, rice cakes, and Liquid IV
  • Put acceptable meds and aids on my nightstand: CBD oil, CBD relief gel, ibuprofen, natural flu meds, thermometer

I got the vaccine at 11am and immediately after, had some weird tingling in the arm where I got the vaccine. I felt tired a few hours after getting it, but I don’t think it was a result of the vaccine.

Around 10pm — 11 hours after getting it — it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was coughing, felt feverish, and achy. I took ibuprofen before I went to bed.


I woke up several times in the night with a sore arm, a fever, severe chills (I was shaking) and I was sweating so much. I swear I thought I was going to die.

When I woke up in the morning, I felt like shit.

I wanted to take a bath because I was freezing and because of how much I sweat. But have fun taking off your clothes when your arm feels like it’s been stabbed – ha!

I was able to take a bath, and get on a medicine regimen for the day. I maintained a 100-101 degree fever for the entire day, even taking the meds.

I drank two 32-ounce Liquid IVs because I was alarmed at how much I kept sweating. I slept on a off all day and was really thankful I’d prepared for it!

Although I did have a sore arm the second time around, it didn’t last as long as it did the first time, which I was thankful for.

I felt back to normal about 36 hours after the vaccine, but wow, it was a rough ride.

So, in 7 days, I’ll be considered fully vaccinated! I might just go out to eat to celebrate 🙂

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  1. Liz

    I have my second dose shot next week and I already took the next day off. My friends who have already had the second dose experienced the same things you did: tiredness, fever and chills, all of it hitting you at one time, and feeling like death. I was blessed to have a minor reaction to the first dose 😅 so I’m taking the week to mentally prepare myself for what’s in store for me for round 2.

      1. thebitterlemon

        Yes, of course you can link back! I definitely think it’s smart to just assume the worst. I figured if I felt ok the day after, I would just rest anyway. I’m so glad you’re almost to the finish line and I hope you don’t feel too bad! One thing I did since I live alone is I kept a note in my phone of the times I took my meds so I could stay on top if it. I didn’t want to wake up from a nap and be like wait, when do I take the next dose? Good luck!!

      2. Liz

        Good idea with the notes on meds. I take mine at various times during the day, so I know I’d forget if I wasn’t feeling well going to do that for sure!

  2. Mills at Go Ahead, Read My Mind

    Thank you for sharing your experience, Holly! I’m getting my first dose tomorrow and it’s nice to hear a first-hand, unfiltered experience. I feel like I haven’t heard the reality of what people are going through in detail, so this is super helpful.

    1. thebitterlemon

      Congratulations! I’m always so excited to hear people are wanting to get it and are able to make an appointment. One symptom I’ve heard with the first dose is a headache and some fatigue. I didn’t experience that but just in case. Good luck — hopefully you’ll have no side effects! 💙

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