Late in December, Colorado received its first shipments of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, designated for front line medical staff, residents and of long term care facilities, first responders, and those over the age of 70. The Moderna vaccine has been administered to Las Animas County residents in vaccination groups 1A and the upper tiers of group 1B.

The Moderna mRNA vaccine is administered in two doses, 28 days apart. Initial studies show a 94.1 percent efficacy in preventing COVID-19 in adults two weeks or more after the second dose.

While no serious safety concerns have been reported with the vaccine, common minor side effects include injection site pain, with headache, muscle or joint pain, fatigue, and chills commonly reported after the second dose.

Jason Stodghill, a paramedic with the Trinidad Ambulance District, shared his experiences after he received his first Moderna COVID-19 vaccination on December 23. Here, he updates his story after receiving his second dose on January 20.

COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A

Question: What side effects did you experience after receiving your initial Moderna COVID-19 vaccination?

Jason: The only side effect I experienced was a sore arm where I received the vaccination. The soreness lasted for a few days.

Question: What about with your second vaccination — any serious side effects?

Jason: No.

Question: What about mild side effects? Was the second vaccination worse than the first?

Jason: I definitely experienced more minor side effects the second time around. I had a headache, body aches and fever. These symptoms developed roughly 12 hours after I was vaccinated, and lasted for about 24 hours. I spent most of the day in bed.

Question: Knowing what you know now about the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination process, are you still confident in your decision to get vaccinated?

Jason: Yes. The side effects were over in 24 hours, whereas COVID-19 complications can last for a lifetime, even when the initial infection isn’t fatal.

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