What to Expect After Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 has been proven to help protect you from getting sick or having to be hospitalized if you do become sick after being vaccinated. However, side effects after being vaccinated are normal as your body begins to build immunity and they should only last a few days. The common side effects after getting vaccinated include:

On the arm that got the shot:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling

Throughout your body:

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

Talk to your doctor about taking approved over-the-counter medications to help with side effects, this can include: ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin or antihistamines. Taking any of these medications before your vaccination to try to prevent the side effects is not recommended.

Other ways you can reduce any pain or discomfort are applying a wet, cool washcloth over the injection site and using the arm lightly. It is recommended that you drink a lot of fluids and dress lightly if you develop a fever as a side effect. The second shot is known to have more intense side effects than the first one, plan accordingly so that your daily functions are not affected and know that this is a normal reaction.

Should any abnormal reactions occur such as redness or soreness lasting longer than 24 hours or your other side effects remain longer than a few days, seek medical care immediately. If you think you are having an allergic reaction to the vaccine seek emergency medical care.

Even though the vaccine allows you to be protected against COVID-19 it is still recommended by the CDC to continue to follow COVID procedures and take precautions when going out in public until more information on how long vaccine protection lasts and if you are unable to pass COVID asymptomatically.