COVID-19 vaccine side effects: What to know and how to prepare
The COVID-19 vaccine can come with certain side effects such as a headache, soreness at the injection site or a fever. But what can you do to prepare for the potential symptoms or help minimize them if they occur? Divya Ahuja, MD, shared some tips.
After the first dose, many are only experiencing a temporary sore arm that is typical with any vaccine injection. Some symptoms you may experience include:
- Pain or swelling in the arm
Mild reactions mean the vaccine is working to help teach your body how to fight COVID-19 should you be exposed. Having these types of reactions to the vaccine does not mean you have COVID-19. You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine.
“Tylenol can be your friend and can help relieve vaccine related symptoms, especially after the second dose for sure.” said Dr. Ahuja.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also offered tips to help with arm discomfort and a fever.
To reduce discomfort in your arm:
- Move your arm around
- Apply a clean, cool, wet cloth to your arm
To reduce discomfort from fever:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Dress lightly
The full purpose of the vaccine is to develop immunity to the virus. “At 14 days after your first dose of the vaccine, you are 50% less likely to get infected, even if exposed to COVID-19. At 7–14 days after you get your second dose, you are 95% less likely to get infected, even if exposed to the virus. In addition, in the unlikely event that you get infected after vaccination, you are much less likely to develop severe disease or symptoms from the virus” said Dr. Ahuja.
Remember, it is important to continue safety precautions whether you’ve been vaccinated or not.
“We have a long way to go before we reach a point where there is widespread immunity within the community, and up until then we have to continue masking, hand washing and maintaining the precautions that will eventually bring this pandemic to an end” said Dr. Ahuja.
Have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine?
Find answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, including how to get the shot.