Dear Kim: Does the COVID-19 Vaccine Have Side Effects?

Dear Kim,

I’ve heard from a few people that the COVID-19 vaccine has serious side effects. Is this true? I’ve heard a lot of mixed information!


Dear Conflicted,

That’s a great question – there’s tons of information circulating on social media, and only some of it is correct!

First – yes, just like any vaccine, the COVID-19 vaccine can have side effects. The CDC says that the most common symptoms are mild to moderate and resolve in a day or two. Many people experience soreness in the arm where they got the shot, which is very normal for a vaccine. Some people also experience symptoms like fever or chills, which also resolve quickly for most people. Keep in mind the vaccine will NOT give you COVID-19. Vaccines work by making your immune system react, and sometimes the reaction is strong enough to make symptoms appear.

Occasionally, people can experience allergic reactions. People who get the vaccine are observed for at least 15 minutes per CDC guidelines to make sure that if they have an allergic reaction, they can get care quickly. Again, it’s very rare.

 When you get the vaccine, make sure you let your provider know if you have any allergies or a history of allergic reactions, and be prepared to take care of yourself after vaccination in case you do get any of the more common symptoms. 

Stay safe – and of course, be well, be yourself!

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