Managing Side Effects of COVID-19 Vaccines

Just like normal medications, all vaccines also have one or more side effects, and COVID-19 vaccines are no exception. Across the globe, about 45% of the world population has received at least a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

The most widely reported side effects following the administration of COVID-19 vaccines are headaches, chills, soreness at the injection site, flu-like symptoms, and muscle aches. In all cases, these side effects are usually mild, and they usually last for only about 24 – 48 hours. 

Maybe you’re preparing to get your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or you have recently gotten your first dose, you may or may not experience these side effects. Read on to discover the possible side effects and how you can effectively manage them.

Common Side Effects Following COVID-19 Vaccinations

Soreness at the Injection Site

Soreness at the injection site is typical of intramuscular injections and is very common. COVID-19 vaccines are no exception. So, it’s not a big deal. Soreness from COVID-19 vaccines is usually characterized by redness and tenderness. 

Although it may be annoying at first, soreness demonstrates that your body is developing an immune response against the vaccine, which helps your body build immunity against the coronavirus.

It is crucial to understand that not everyone responds the same way. So, it doesn’t mean your body is not developing immunity if you do not get a sore arm after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Muscle Aches

Since the vaccine is usually administered intramuscularly, some discomfort in the form of muscle aches is typical. When you experience these types of reactions, just know that your immune system is responding exactly the way it’s supposed to react. Occasionally, muscle aches may hinder your ability to perform usual daily activities. Still, they usually go away in about a day or two depending on how fast your immune system responds to the vaccine. Similarly, the absence of muscle pain is also normal for some individuals. 

Fever and Fatigue

This is the chief symptom that is often most pronounced twenty-four hours following a COVID-19 vaccination. It is fine to sleep if you experience a fever after taking your first or second dose of the vaccine.  Be sure to also drink enough water to stay hydrated and continue adhering to COVID-19 safety guidelines.


Headaches are common side-effects of the COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, evidence suggests that roughly 10% of individuals experience one or more forms of headaches and fatigue following the COVID-19 vaccination. Depending on the individual, the severity of the headache may range from mild to even migraine headaches where there is occasional nausea and sensitivity to flashing lights. But, in any case, symptoms usually subside within a day or two.

What to Do to Manage COVID-19 Side Effects

COVID-19 vaccines are safe, and they protect individuals from complications of COVID-19. Side effects are normal, although not everyone experiences these side effects and the degree varies in different individuals. 

But in any case, here are a few tips to help you control and manage the various types of side effects that may develop:

  • Stay hydrated after taking the COVID-19 vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that people drink lots of fluids and try their best to dress lightly to reduce symptoms such as fever, headaches, and fatigue.

  • Poor sleep may prolong recovery from the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine. Ensure to get enough sleep after taking the vaccine. Limit physical activity, rest well and get plenty of sleep.

  • If you experience soreness, stiffness, and muscle aches around the injection site, try as much as possible to move your arms. Understandably, this may cause more discomfort, but it helps improve blood flow around the injection site which relieves local inflammation and soreness.

  • Occasionally, you may experience pain around the injection site. You can apply ice packs or cool, wet cloth to ease the pain around the injection site.

  • If you still feel pain that doesn’t go away after applying ice packs around the sore area, you may take over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen but only when necessary, and if you have no medical condition that will prevent you from taking them under normal circumstances.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and the occurrence of side effects following COVID-19 vaccination is normal. As a safety measure, ensure to remain still for about 15 minutes after receiving a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to watch for the occurrence of adverse effects, which may occur in very rare cases. 

It takes time to build full protection after receiving COVID-19 vaccines. Hence, even after receiving your first and second doses of the vaccine, ensure to adhere strictly to COVID-19 safety guidelines

At Carolina Pharmacy, we are committed to bringing you quality healthcare during these unprecedented times through quality pharmaceutical services. Contact us today for more information on COVID-19 testing, and COVID-19 vaccination in Charlotte, Lancaster, and Rock Hill.