Possible Side Effects After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine


COVID-19 vaccination helps protect people from getting COVID-19. Some people have side effects from the vaccine, which are normal signs that their body is building protection. These side effects may affect their ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Some people have no side effects, and allergic reactions are rare.


Adverse effects that could cause a long-term health problem are extremely unusual following any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination. If adverse effects occur, they generally happen within six weeks of receiving a vaccine dose. For this reason, during clinical trials, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) collected data on each of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines for a minimum of two months (eight weeks) after the final dose. CDC, FDA, and other federal agencies continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines even now that the vaccines are in use.


Common Side Effects


On the arm where you got the shot:


  • Pain

  • Redness

  • Swelling


Throughout the rest of your body:


  • Tiredness

  • Headache

  • Muscle pain

  • Chills

  • Fever

  • Nausea


Severe allergic reactions after COVID-19 vaccination are rare. Anyone who had a severe allergic reaction after getting an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) should not get another dose of either of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Anyone who had a severe allergic reaction after receiving Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine, should not receive another dose of that vaccine.

Learn about getting a different type of COVID-19 vaccine after an allergic reaction.

Helpful Tips to Relieve Side Effects

Talk to a doctor about taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin (only for people ages 18 years or older), or antihistamines for any pain and discomfort experienced after getting vaccinated.

People can take these medications to relieve side effects after vaccination if they have no other medical reasons that prevent them from taking these medications normally. Ask your child’s healthcare provider for advice on using a non-aspirin pain reliever and other steps you can take at home to comfort your child after vaccination.

It is not recommended to take these medicines before vaccination for the purpose of trying to prevent side effects.


To reduce pain and discomfort where the shot is given


  • Apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area.

  • Use or exercise your arm.

To reduce discomfort from fever


  • Drink plenty of fluids.

  • Dress lightly.


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