The vaccination to help protect you from getting COVID-19 may have side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. Which means you may feel a little bad and that's good.
“In a way, yes, it is. It indicates an active immune system and so forth,” said Dr. Nicholas Haddad, infectious disease specialist with CMU Health.
These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities but should go away in a few days. Though some people have no side effects.
Common side effects in the arm of the shot include pain, redness and swelling, fever, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills and nausea.
Your doctor may advise a mild over-the-counter reliever but don't try heading off pain in advance by taking one before injection.
“We know that they're more common in younger people. I don't want to say 'young' or 'old' but anybody less than 55, they usually have more robust side effects. Individuals more than 55 years of age, they have way less side effects,” Haddad said.
To reduce pain after injection, apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area. Then use or exercise your arm. For fever reduction, drink plenty of fluids and dress lightly.
Side effects after your second shot may be more intense, again normal signs your body is building protection and should go away within a few days.
But contact your doctor if redness or tenderness at the injection site worsens after 24 hours, or if side effects are worrying you or not going away after a few days. If you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction, seek immediate medical care by calling 911.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and Moderna vaccine both need two shots for the most protection. Even if you have side effects after the first shot, you should get the second unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to.
People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the single-dose of Johnson & Johnson or the second shot of Pfizer or Moderna.