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CDC Reports Side Effects of the COVID-19 Vaccine

These reactions are relatively common, and totally normal.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Getting vaccinated with one of the COVID vaccines is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others against the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed all of the FDA-approved vaccines currently available in the United States as "highly effective at preventing COVID-19" as well as safe. However, there are a few potential side effects you might experience after your vaccination. "You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection," they explain, adding that some of them can resemble those associated with the flu. "These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days." Read on to find out what they are—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus


You May Feel Pain and/or Swelling on the Arm Where You Go the Shot

A man experiencing discomfort in his upper arm

In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal, the CDC explains. However, they urge you to contact your doctor or healthcare provider "if the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours" or "if your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days."


You May Have a Fever or Chills

Woman Checking Her Temperature in Bed

A spike in temperature or even feeling the chills is also normal. To reduce discomfort from fever, they suggest drinking plenty of fluids and also dressing lightly. 


You May Feel Tiredness

tired man

Fatigue is a common reaction to getting a vaccine. "I was hoping that I wouldn't get too knocked out. I did for about 24 hours. Now I'm fine," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.


You May Feel a Headache

Woman experiencing a headache.

You might also experience a headache. "If you have pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen," the CDC urges. 


Don't Forget Your Second Dose

Doctor in personal protective suit or PPE inject vaccine shot to stimulating immunity of woman patient at risk of coronavirus infection.

The CDC reminds that most COVID-19 vaccines require two shots in order to provide immunity. "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," they advise. "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."

RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci


Protect Yourself and Others

woman puts on face mask

Follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more