Is There A Better Arm To Get Your COVID-19 Vaccine In?

COVID-19 vaccinations are happening across the globe thanks to the quick and effective work of scientists and vaccine trial participants. But even as people line up to get their shots, information about how and when to get each dose can be confusing and even misleading. One of the newest questions that has come up is whether to get the first and second doses in the same arm or in alternating arms. So does the arm you get your shots in make a difference in the protection you'll get from the vaccine?

According to the American Medical Association, both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna vaccine require two separate doses (via AMA). The second dose is not a booster shot, but is actually a required dose in the series. You will only get full protection from the vaccine if you receive both shots. It's also important to get the same vaccine for the first and second dose and not mix vaccines.

You may have these side effects

Like many other vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine has the potential for side effects. Because the vaccine activates your immune system, your body's defenses will be focused on the site of the shot. This may cause pain, redness, and swelling at or near the injection site (via CDC). Doctors say the soreness from the shot should disappear in a few days, and you can help relieve the pain by icing the injection site and taking over-the-counter pain medicine (via Bustle).

As far as which arm to get the shots in, there really isn't one correct answer. Some people prefer to get the shot in their non-dominant arm so that they're able to use their dominant arm without pain or discomfort. Others believe that getting shot in their dominant arm helps the pain go away more quickly because they're moving it a lot and increasing blood flow to the injection site. Experts say that there is no scientifically-backed evidence that says that getting the shot in the same arm or alternate arms gives you any benefit or causes any greater problems. In the end, it's a matter of preference, and getting both doses of the vaccine is what matters the most.