What are the symptoms of the COVID-19 vaccine?

What are the symptoms of the COVID-19 vaccine?

patient receiving vaccine

By now, you may have heard some people who receive the COVID-19 vaccine don’t feel well afterward.
It’s true – as with many vaccines, you may develop short-term symptoms such as fever, fatigue and soreness at the injection site after being vaccinated.
The good news: These symptoms typically disappear within a day or two. And your body’s reaction is actually a good sign – it means the vaccine is working as intended and generating an immune system response.
As of Feb. 18, more than 40 million people in the U.S. had received at least one dose of the vaccine. 
“The COVID-19 vaccine is both safe and extremely effective at protecting people from COVID-19,” says Dr. William Jackson Epperson, medical director of primary care at Tidelands Health. “If you do experience symptoms after receiving the vaccine, they don’t last long – typically one or two days.”

Two doses

Under South Carolina’s vaccination plan, the state has currently authorized distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals in Phase 1a. The CDC believes all adults who want a vaccine should be able to receive one in 2021.

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Once you have the opportunity to receive the vaccine, Dr. Epperson says, it’s important to be aware of the possibility you may experience temporary symptoms. Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines requires two doses spaced several weeks apart to be most effective.
“We want people to expect a temporary response after the first dose, even if most of them will not,” he says. “That’s because it’s important people who receive the first dose come back for the second.”

Better alternative

Dr. Epperson, who practices at Tidelands Health Family Medicine at Prince Creek, says it’s possible some people will experience strong enough symptoms that they don’t feel well enough to go to work or school the following day.
Even so, he says, one or two days at home is much better than becoming ill with COVID-19, which can result in hospitalization or death and requires at least 10 days of isolation at home.
“It’s important that as many people as possible benefit from the vaccine when the opportunity arises,” he says. “By receiving the vaccine when it’s available to you, you can help protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 and help our community, state and nation sustainably recover from the pandemic.”

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