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Pregnant ER doctor gets third COVID vaccine dose, encourages others to do the same

“Whatever you felt with the shot – 1st, 2nd, or 3rd – if you get real COVID, it's going to be 100 times worse,” said a doctor who got a booster at 34 weeks pregnant.

HOUSTON — Healthcare workers were the first group of people to get the COVID-19 vaccine last December. Many are now eligible for a booster shot.

Dr. Anh Nguyen, an ER physician with Houston Methodist, got her booster shot this week.

“I’m 34 weeks pregnant. Definitely got the booster in my third trimester,” Nguyen said.

She’s eligible for a third dose for two reasons: she’s considered immune-compromised, because she’s pregnant, and she has a very high-risk job.

“With the third dose, I was out for probably a day. I think the day after I got a booster, I just took a nap the whole day,” Nguyen said.

That’s a common side effect reported by people after their third COVID vaccine dose.

The CDC released early data on side effects from the shots Tuesday. The agency reports more than 22,000 people have gotten a booster shot already. Around 70 percent reported mild to moderate reactions afterward.

“Fever, chills, achiness, swollen lymph nodes. Same as the first time around,” said Dr. Linda Yancey with Memorial Hermann Hospital. “So I’m telling people who had a reaction after the second shot, go ahead and get your booster on a Friday.”

For most people, side effects are temporary, usually lasting a day.

Dr. Nguyen hopes that doesn’t deter anyone from considering the alternative.

“Whatever you felt with the shot – first, second or third – if you get real COVID, it's going to be 100 times worse,” she said.