COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects: When To Call The Doctor

Although COVID-19 vaccination is intended to provide protection from the novel coronavirus, it is not free from side effects, which experts said are normal signs that show the human body is undergoing some changes to build immunity against the virus. While most side effects are mild and tend to go away very quickly, there are some that could be a cause for concern if not addressed by medical professionals. 

What Are The Common Side Effects?

The common side effects that appear once any of the authorized vaccines has been administered can be classified into two: local and systemic. The local side effects are those that can be experienced at the site of the vaccine shot. The four most common under this category are pain, redness, swelling and itching, according to ImmunizeBC

On the other hand, systemic side effects are those that can be observed and felt throughout the rest of the body. The list includes headache, muscle pain, tiredness, fever, chills and nausea. Both local and systemic side effects can show up upon the administration of the vaccine. However, some of the systemic effects can present themselves within six weeks of receiving the vaccine dose. 

When To Call The Doctor

Even though the common side effects are normal and even regarded as a good sign that the body is building its immunity against COVID-19, there are instances when a newly vaccinated individual should seek for professional help to address the discomfort they are feeling after taking the vaccine shot. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one should contact their doctor or healthcare provider if the redness and swelling of the injection site gets worse 24 hours after the administration of the dose. The public health agency also said that it’s a must to ask for help if the side effects appear to not go away after a few days. 

If a person presents a severe or immediate allergic reaction to the vaccine shot, they are encouraged to call 911 right away. Additionally, for those people who experience an allergic reaction from the first dose of the two-dose mRNA vaccines, they are discouraged from getting the second dose of the mRNA vaccines, and instead get a different type of COVID-19 vaccine, like the J&J vaccine. 

How To Relieve Vaccine Side Effects

For the most part, the common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines are self-limiting. But should they affect a person’s ability to do their daily activities, the CDC recommends taking some over-the-counter drugs, such as acetaminophen, antihistamines, aspirin, or ibuprofen. Such medications can help relieve post-vaccination pain and discomfort.

However, the agency also indicated that it is a must for one to talk to their doctor about the OTC drugs before taking any of them, since there are people who are not allowed to take them due to medical reasons. Taking any of the medicines before getting vaccinated in an effort to prevent the possible side effects is also strongly discouraged.

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