Side effects after COVID-19 vaccine

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 will help reduce your risk of getting COVID-19 or prevent you from becoming very ill, or dying from the virus. You may experience some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is forming a protective barrier. 

These side effects may affect your daily functioning, however, they should go away after a few days. Some people experience no side effects at all.

This article provides some essential information about the possible side effects of your COVID-19 vaccine and how you can reduce some of them. 

Is a COVID-19 vaccine safe?

There are strict safeguards in place to help ensure the safety of all COVID-19 vaccines. Before receiving approval from WHO and national drug regulators, the COVID-19 vaccine must undergo rigorous testing in clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficiency of the vaccine and meet the agreed international standards. 

According to WHO ”Unprecedented scientific collaborations have allowed COVID-19 research, development, and authorization to be completed in record time – to meet the urgent need for these vaccines while maintaining international safety standards”.

WHO and drug regulators will continuously monitor the use of COVID-19 vaccines to identify and respond to any safety issues that may arise, ensuring that vaccines remain safe for worldwide use. 

Common side effects after COVID-19 vaccine

As with any vaccine people may experience some post-vaccination reactions, this is completely normal and to be expected. Signs of a reaction indicate that the vaccine is stimulating the body to create an immune response. This is part of the process that helps the immune system recognize and destroy the coronavirus when it is required. 

Depending on the individual, the COVID-19 vaccine can cause mild, short-term side effects that go away on their own within a few days. More serious and prolonged side effects are possible but they are extremely rare.

Vaccines and continuously monitored through their lifecycle and all adverse effects experienced by an individual are recorded in order to detect rare adverse effects and implement approaches to limit their occurrence 

Covid- 19 Side effects reported are mostly mild to moderate and of short duration, they include:

At the injection site:

  • Painful
  • Red
  • Swelling
  • Itching 

Systemic side effects:

  • Tired
  • DizzinessHeadache
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea 
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea

Each COVID-19 vaccine has different side effects, However, the typical side effects should subside with rest, drinking plenty of liquids( non-alcoholic), and taking over the counter pain medication like paracetamol/acetaminophen

Note: Seek medical attention immediately if the pain in your arm where the shot was given does not decrease, but instead increases after 24 hours. Or if the common side effects mentioned above do not subside or disappear within 2-3 days. 

Go to the emergency room if you /your loved one feels short of breath, have chest pain, are lethargic or confused, have swollen lips and tongue, have tightness in the throat, have dizziness or experience convulsions.

Anaphylaxis after COVID-19 vaccine

A severe allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis is a potential but rare side effect with any vaccine, not only the COVID vaccine. 

Signs of anaphylaxis that require immediate medical attention are:

  • Feeling lightheaded or faint
  • Breathing difficulties – such as fast, shallow breathing
  • Wheezing
  • A fast heartbeat
  • Clammy skin
  • Confusion and anxiety
  • Collapsing or losing consciousness

According to the Minister of Health’s guidance of vaccination preparation, people who have had anaphylaxis in the past should not receive the COVID vaccine. 

The Ministry of Health in Vietnam has issued pre-injection screening forms for people to declare their medical conditions and avoid unfortunate complications. 

Pre-injection screening forms of The Ministry of Health in Vietnam

How to reduce the side effects after COVID vaccine

You should not take pain or fever medication before the vaccine in hope of preventing the side effects.

When common side effects occur after the first dose of the vaccine you should rest and drink plenty of liquids and take over-the-counter pain or fever medication. You can also apply a wet facecloth to relieve the pain at the site of the injection.   

Side effects after the second injection may intensify, these side effects are normal signs that your body is being protected and it should go away within a few days. 

Special note: For two weeks after both injections you still have to take measures to protect yourself from COVID-19. Please wear a mask, face shields and limit contact with other people. This is the time for your body needs to make enough antibodies against the coronavirus.

Docosan wishes you a safe vaccination process, don’t forget to book a medical appointment with a doctor  on Docosan if the side effects do not subside within 2-3 days