Side effects are common a day or two after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. These can include:
- Pain, redness, itchiness or swelling in the arm, where the vaccine was given (right away and/or 7 days after)
- Swollen lymph nodes under the armpit
- Tiredness or headache
- Fever and chills
- Muscle or joint soreness
- Nausea and vomiting.
Children are expected to experience similar side effects as adults, though may experience some of them, like headache, chills and fever, more often.
Most side effects are not serious and should go away on their own Some side effects are a sign that your body is reacting to the injection and your immune system is building a response.
Tips for side effects
- Apply a cool, damp cloth or wrapped ice pack to painful areas.
- Take medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) if you wish to ease discomfort. ASA (e.g. Aspirin) should not be given to anyone under 18 years of age. If you are pregnant, do not take ibuprofen; treat discomfort or fever with Tylenol instead.
Some of the side effects of the vaccine are similar to symptoms of COVID-19. The vaccine will not cause or give you COVID-19. However, if you were exposed to the virus before you got your vaccine, you may not realize you have COVID-19 until after you are vaccinated.
Symptoms such as sore throat, runny nose, cough or problems breathing are NOT side effects of the vaccine. If you experience any symptoms of COVID-19, use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool.
If you are worried about your symptoms, contact your health care provider or call 8-1-1.