Precautions and Side Effects
Among participants who received the vaccine and those who got the placebo, the reported rate of serious adverse events is less than 0.5%, with no significant differences between the two groups.
Advise your vaccination provider BEFORE you get the COVID-19 vaccine if you:
- have any allergies (environmental, food or to drugs)
- have a fever
- have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner
- have a history of clotting disorder, pulmonary embolism, and/or stroke
- are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or who are breastfeeding
To date, based on FDA data, out of millions of doses administered around the world including clinical trials, very few severe side effects, including allergic reactions, have been reported. No long-term adverse effects have been reported.
The most common side effects are ‘expected’ and are a sign that your immune system is kicking in to develop antibodies. They do not signal that the vaccine is unsafe.
- localized pain at the injection site (84%)
- fatigue (63%)
- headache (55%)
- muscle pain (38%)
Smaller numbers reported fever, chills and joint pain. The incidence of fever has so far been found to be higher after the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Consideration should be given to take the vaccine at the end of the day or simply plan to take the ‘day off’ after your vaccination, as you might feel ‘unwell’ enough to stay home for a day. If taking some Tylenol does not relieve your symptoms, contact your healthcare provider.
A severe allergic reaction would usually occur within a few minutes to one hour after getting a dose of COVID-19 Vaccine.
For this reason, your vaccination provider may ask you to stay for 15-30 minutes after your receive the vaccine for observation. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of your face and throat
- A fast heartbeat
- A bad rash all over your body
- Dizziness and weakness
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