Rare COVID Vaccine Side Effects Patients Want You to Know
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an entire page devoted to what you should expect after receiving your COVID-19 vaccine. They list some of the most common symptoms, including pain and swelling at the injection site and fever, chills, tiredness, and headaches. However, there are some other side effects being reported by people post vaccination. While they shouldn't stop you from getting the vaccine, it's important to know about them so you can react appropriately. Read on to learn about some of the surprising side effects of the COVID vaccine—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Lymph Node Swelling
According to new reports, 15 to 20 percent of people who receive the vaccine are experiencing swollen lymph nodes—similar in appearance to those associated with breast cancer. "Most women are concerned about it because they have an enlarged lymph node and the first thing they think of is cancer," Dr. Andrea S. Porpiglia told CBS 3 Philly. These swollen lymph nodes can be felt in the armpit area in both women and men can even show up in mammograms. Fortunately, you don't need to be concerned if you notice any swelling. "It's just a normal immune response," Dr. Porpiglia explains. "When you get the vaccine, your body is making more cells to help fight the virus and by doing so you're going to have an enlarged lymph nodes."
Chills That Won't Stop
Chills are one of the few symptoms reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While they are typically mild, some people are experiencing fever and chills so severe, they end up in the hospital. 67-year-old Cathy Husler from Mifflintown, PA explained to ABC 27 that two days after getting her first dose of the vaccine, she was admitted to the ER. "When I got to the ER, my temperature was 103.8, and I just kept having chills," she said. Luckily, both these symptoms are temporary and shouldn't stop you from getting your second round. "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," urges the CDC.
The CDC states that people are experiencing both severe—also known as anaphylaxis—and non-severe allergic reactions to the vaccine. "As an example, an allergic reaction is considered severe when a person needs to be treated with epinephrine or EpiPen© or if they must go to the hospital," they explain. If you had a severe allergic reaction after getting the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe— "CDC recommends that you should not get the second dose."
Second Dose May Pack a Punch
Don't be surprised if your side effects of the second vaccine dose are more severe. "Grade 3 solicited local adverse reactions were more frequently reported after Dose 2 than Dose 1," Moderna's statement reads. These reactions include swelling, pain, body aches, headache and fever. This is common of other vaccines, as the body is working extra hard to build up immunity.
Other Rare Side Effects
There have also been some extremely rare side effects reported. For example, three patients who received the Moderna vaccine and four who got the Pfizer experienced Bell's Palsy, a sudden, and usually temporary, weakening or paralysis of the facial muscles, while a few patients with facial fillers experienced swelling. And, in the Pfizer trial, there were 47 cases of anaphylaxis.
Protect Yourself and Others
Follow the 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.