With Millions more Americans getting vaccinated every day, there have been complaints of side effects including fever, fatigue and other complications that they weren’t expecting. These side effects from Covid-19 vaccines won’t last long and may provide proof that your immune system is doing its job. Although vaccines are still very effective without side effects. Here are some of the most common side effects from Covid-19 vaccines, how you can manage them, and why you shouldn’t let them stop you from getting vaccinated:
“The kinds of things we’re seeing are arm soreness, body aches, sometimes fatigue, sometimes even low-grade fever,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccinologist and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
After he got his second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, “I had shaking chills for a couple of hours,” Hotez said. “And we know why this happens — because the vaccine is very potent in inducing an immune response. That’s one of the reasons why we’re getting such high levels of protection against Covid-19.”The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said other side effects can include pain, redness or swelling at the injection site and possibly headache or nausea.
The number of people with side effects is unclear because with millions of Americans getting vaccinated every day, many that do get side effects might not report them to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. It has been noted that in vaccine trials, about 10% to 15% of immunized volunteers developed “quite noticeable side effects,” former Operation Warp Speed Chief Scientific Adviser Moncef Slaoui said late last year. “Most people will have much less noticeable side effects,” he said.
One side effect called anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction, is at a rate of about two to five per million. This means about 0.0005% (or less) of those who get a Covid-19 vaccine have a serious, negative response. (These are the symptoms of anaphylaxis). Generally a severe reaction occurs within 30 minutes after getting the COVID vaccine. For this reason most vaccination sites have people stay for 15 to 30 minutes afterward. The CDC recommends people who have had a severe allergic reaction to a different vaccine or a history of anaphylaxis stay for 30 minutes after vaccination. All places administering vaccines must be armed with epinephrine to quickly combat any cases of anaphylaxis, the CDC said.
With that said, “the mRNA vaccines — the Pfizer and the Moderna — they are what’s called more reactogenic, meaning there are more side effects,” Hotez said. “They’re not serious side effects, but they can be unpleasant, and they can sometimes last a day or two. Usually they don’t. Usually they last a few hours.”
Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines give about 95% protection against symptomatic Covid-19, and both are virtually 100% effective against severe Covid-19 illness. In their clinical trials, no one who was vaccinated died from Covid-19.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is not an mRNA vaccine. Among US trial participants, it was 72% effective against Covid-19 and 85% effective against severe Covid-19. Like the other two vaccines, no one who was vaccinated during the clinical trial died from Covid-19.