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Are you a woman who had the COVID vaccine and felt more severe side effects from it than your partner, male coworker, brother or dad did? Turns out, the majority of side effects reported from the vaccine so far have been from women. According to the CDC, in the first 13.7-million vaccine doses given this year, 79% of the reports of side effects were from women. Part of that may be because women are more willing than guys to acknowledge symptoms like headache and fatigue, but experts say it could also come down to biology.

“We know that with vaccinations and infections, women tend to have a stronger immune response than men,” says Dr. Simone Wildes, an infectious disease specialist. “That’s really driven by biological differences in males and females and the sex hormones.” She explains that the vaccine introduces foreign proteins to the body to teach the cells to make antibodies and T-cells to help fight infection, in case we’re exposed.

And in the female body, those cells create more protein than the male cells would, according to Wildes. “When females get the vaccine, we’re going to complain of more side effects because our immune system is more revved up,” she explains. “We are able to produce more of the antibodies, the T-cells against this foreign material, the COVID-19 vaccine.” She says the side effects are normal signs the vaccine is working in your body and they usually go away within a day or two after the shot.

Source: Good Morning America