Side effects are common and normal after many vaccinations, including the flu, shingles, etc., there is no reason to fear them, and the more informed you are, the more comfortable and calmed you will be when getting vaccinated. Side effects of the coronavirus vaccine appear due to the immune response, but they are not serious.
Side effects are the result of the inflammation induced by vaccines, and they are a sign of the body’s immune response to them. Everyone’s reaction to the vaccine is different, and there are some types of vaccines that cause a slightly stronger reaction than others, therefore, if someone from your family or friends experienced the side effects a certain way, it is likely that yours will be different.
It is important to clarify that the vaccine does not give you the virus, and its side effects are not a form of COVID-19, there is no need to worry about that.
What are the possible side effects of the coronavirus vaccine?
- A light fever
- Body aches
- Slight pain in the area of the injection (a rash may appear after some days after the first dose, it is not threatening, and it goes away in a couple of days)
These are the common and normal symptoms after the vaccination. You need to pay attention to these side effects, they should only last a couple of days and should not be serious. If your side effects last for more than three days or if you have trouble breathing, loss of movement or speech, or chest pain, you need to contact your doctor right away.
What can I do to alleviate them?
To reduce pain in the area of the injection, you can apply a clean, cold, wet washcloth over the area and lightly exercise your arm. This may also help with body aches.
To fight other side effects (specially fever) you should drink plenty of fluids, use light clothes and you could take a shower with warm water to help regulate your temperature.
If you have very strong muscle aches or headaches, you can contact a pharmacist or take ibuprofen, Tylenol, or some aspirin.
Are the side effects the same after the second dose?
Many of the vaccines that are currently being delivered require two doses. It is possible that side effects are more intense after the second dose. A lot of people do not experience side effects at all after the first shot but do experience them after the second one. Remember these side effects are normal and should disappear in a couple of days.
Even if you got side effects after the first dose you should get the second dose (unless your doctor recommends otherwise) since you are considered vaccinated only after the second one.
Why are side effects of the coronavirus vaccine more noticeable than the ones of the flu vaccine?
Not all vaccines work the same way, there are vaccines that inject a weakened form of the disease to create immunity, others work by delivering protein pieces into the immune cells in the body. Every type of vaccine has a different reaction in the body; the flu vaccine and the coronavirus vaccine don’t work the same way, therefore, their side effects are different. Additionally, side effects depend on the immune system of the person who receives the vaccine as well.
Remember that at Formé Medical Center we have an amazing team of healthcare professionals who can answer all your questions regarding the coronavirus vaccine, and that we are constantly having immunization campaigns. If you wish to schedule an appointment you can give us a call at 914-723-4900.