The COVID-19 vaccine continues to dominate everyone’s mind as states move forward with their rollout plans. However, talk of side effects has raised some concern from people about receiving the vaccine. But, with any vaccine, there is the risk for side effects, and this risk is usually minimal. This vaccine is no different, so before you receive either dose of your vaccine and as you prepare for your vaccine appointment, the CDC is advising you to make sure you look into any side effects and what to expect after.
Upon receiving either your first or second vaccine dose, you may notice some swelling or feel some pain at the injection site. But, do not worry, because this should in a day or two. If any irritation does occur, consider applying a cool damp cloth to the injection site. If the pain needs managing, taking an over-the-counter pain killer under doctor’s advice can help. Sometimes, some light exercise or movement can help alleviate the discomfort. This kind of reaction occurs with a variety of vaccines, so if you do experience redness or discomfort at the injection site, it is not a sign that something is wrong.
Some people have reported experiencing flu-like symptoms after receiving the vaccine, particularly after the second dose. These symptoms include fever, chills, headache, and tiredness. Again, these are normal and to be expected, as this is a sign that your body is building the right immunity should it come in contact with the coronavirus. Not experiencing this, though, is not a sign that the vaccine is not working. It just shows that everyone’s bodies respond different and take different steps to build a protective immunity. If you experience these flu-like side effects, treat them as you would in any other scenario, such as through rest and by drinking lots of fluids. These side effects should resolve in one to two days as well.
After both of your appointments, you will be asked to wait for approximately fifteen minutes for staff to monitor you for any rare adverse reactions, such as signs of anaphylaxis. Such monitoring is protocol, and not solely associated with the COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Once you leave, still keep an eye out for any reactions, and report them to your doctor or vaccine administrator. As with any side effect, contact your doctor if what you are experiencing is worrying you or getting worse. And, be sure to talk to your doctor if you have had severe reactions to vaccines before getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Even if you suffer side effects after receiving the first shot, it is still recommended that you receive the second shot to achieve immunity unless you doctor advises you otherwise.
With the continued rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, we are finding ourselves closer than ever to the end of the pandemic. Remember, you may not have complete protection until one to two weeks after you receive your second dose of the vaccine, so the vaccine is not an immediate end to the pandemic. Until the situation is officially over, we must remain vigilant and continue practicing proper health measures, including wearing a mask and social distancing, until enough people are vaccinated and protected from the virus to help slow its spread.
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