COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

Vaccine sticker COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need 2 shots in order for them to work. Get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get a second shot.

It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require 2 shots may not protect you until a week or two after your second shot.

Common side effects

On the arm where you got the shot

Throughout the rest of your body

  • Pain 
  • Swelling
  • Fever 
  • Chills 
  • Tiredness 
  • Headache 

Helpful Tips 

If you have pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

To reduce the pain and discomfort where you got the shot To reduce discomfort from fever 
  • Apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area 
  • Use or exercise your arm frequently 
  • Drink plenty of fluids 
  • Dress lightly 

When to call the doctor

In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain at the injection site is normal. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider: 

  • If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours

  • If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days  

It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.