Possible Side Effects After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine
COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Some people have no side effects.
Common side effects
- Muscle pain
Talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, or antihistamines, for any pain and discomfort you may experience after getting vaccinated. You can take these medications to relieve post-vaccination side effects if you have no other medical reasons that prevent you from taking these medications normally.
It is not recommended you take these medicines before vaccination for the purpose of trying to prevent side effects.
- Apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area.
- Use or exercise your arm.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Dress lightly.
When to call the doctor
In most cases, discomfort from pain or fever is a normal sign that your body is building protection. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider:
- If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot gets worse after 24 hours
- If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days
If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate medical care by calling 911. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and rare severe allergic reactions.
- Side effects can affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.
- With both mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine), you will need 2 shots in order to get the most protection. You should get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get it.
- You will only need 1 shot of the viral vector COVID-19 vaccine, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.
- It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require 2 shots may not protect you until about 2 weeks after your second shot. For COVID-19 vaccines that require 1 shot, it takes about 2 weeks after vaccination for your body to build protection.
It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, avoid poorly ventilated spaces, and wash your hands often.