What is ‘Moderna arm?’ Can I take antibiotics and get the COVID vaccine?

Answering COVID vaccine questions: What is ‘Moderna arm?’ Can I take antibiotics and get the COVID vaccine?
Answering COVID vaccine questions: What is ‘Moderna arm?’ Can I take antibiotics and get the COVID vaccine?

DETROIT – Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Dr. Frank McGeorge has been keeping viewers up-to-date and informed on all fronts. He’s been answering your questions about the vaccine, the vaccination process and more.

READ: More answers to questions about coronavirus


Will taking antibiotics interfere with the vaccine?

No. You should take all prescribed antibiotics as directed.

Why is the second vaccine more prone to cause a reaction than the first shot? Is it more potent or made differently?

The second dose of the vaccine is actually exactly the same as the first. The reason more people react to the second shot is that their immune system was primed by the first dose. That’s how your immune system works. Generally, the response to the second exposure is expected to be stronger. But in terms of a two dose vaccine, that translates to more potential side effects the second time around.

I have had the COVID-19 virus and recovered. How long do I have to wait to get the vaccine? I was told 90 days but just recently read online that they are now saying 6 months. How long do I wait?

The reason for the wait is that while vaccine was in short supply. People who had recent infection are already protected for at least 90 days and could wait to get vaccinated. Once the vaccine is more widely available you do not need to put it off.

The CDC said you can get vaccinated as soon as you’ve recovered and your quarantine period has ended.

I received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine without any significant event. Eight days after the vaccine, my arm became hot, red, itchy, and swollen around the injection site. The next day I had another red, swollen spot. The third day another red, swollen spot and the second day’s small spots grew larger and blended into one. What is causing this, what do I do about it, and do I get the second dose?

This is a documented rare reaction dubbed “Moderna Arm.” It appears to be a delayed hypersensitive skin reaction. It can be treated with ice and antihistamines.

There is a risk you’ll have the same reaction to your second dose, but it is still recommended you get that second shot to be fully protected.

READ: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 642,869; Death toll now at 15,984


Pfizer said it has launched its vaccine trial in children aged 6 months to 12 years old.

The first participants are 9-year-old twin girls who were immunized Wednesday at Duke University.

Moderna and AstraZeneca have already begun testing their vaccines in young children. Johnson and Johnson is currently testing their shot in older kids.

READ: Michigan COVID-19 vaccinations: How to find appointments, info on phases


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Questions about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge


About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.