Does body size affect severity?

I have not had any booster shots because I experienced bad side effects from my second shot of the Moderna vaccine. For 36 hours, I had flu-like symptoms, a severe headache, a terrifying nightmare and a painful left arm. I stayed in bed for 24 hours. I felt like I had been poisoned.

I weigh 110 pounds and I have spoken to several of my friends who are petite, and they had similar experiences. None of us has had a booster because of the side effects.

Why is the dosage for someone who is 200 or 300 pounds the same as for someone who is 110 pounds? One-size-fits-all is keeping us from getting boosted.

Welcome to Pandemic Problems, an advice column that aims to help Bay Area residents solve their pandemic and post-pandemic conundrums — personal, practical or professional. As COVID evolves into an endemic disease, we know readers are trying to navigate the “new normal.” Send your questions and issues to

Today’s question is fielded by The Chronicle’s Kellie Hwang.

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