Does the COVID-19 Vaccine Have Side Effects?

COVID-19 vaccine can have minor side effects, but it is highly effective

(RxWiki News) As health care professionals administer COVID-19 vaccines across the country, many people are wondering about possible side effects.

The COVID-19 vaccines do pose the risk of certain side effects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But, according to health officials, the benefits of the vaccines outweigh the drawbacks.

Minor side effects are normal with almost all vaccines, the CDC noted. In fact, most vaccine side effects are a sign that the vaccine is doing its job and building your immunity to the virus.

The following are some common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Tiredness

While these issues may affect you as you try to complete daily activities, they typically go away in a few days. To help with some of the above vaccine side effects, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter (OTC) medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen or antihistamines, although taking these medicines before vaccination is not recommended. Always speak with your doctor before taking a new OTC medication. 

Additionally, the CDC recommended using or exercising the arm where you got the shot, applying a clean, cool, and wet washcloth to the affected area and drinking plenty of fluids to help with the possible side effects.

For the COVID-19 vaccines that require two shots, both shots may cause side effects, but the second shot may cause more intense side effects. These should also go away within two or three days.

If your side effects are worrying you and do not seem to get better after a few days, contact a doctor. Also, if redness at the injection site gets worse after 24 hours, seek medical care.

In rare cases, people can have severe allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines. If you think you are having a severe reaction, call 911 immediately.

Getting vaccinated is one of the most important steps in protecting yourself and others from COVID-19. However, your body has not reached peak immunity until two weeks after you receive your final vaccine dose.

The CDC said people should continue exercising caution by social distancing and wearing masks in public even after being vaccinated.

If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, reach out to your health care provider.

Review Date: 
March 22, 2021