Some people experience no side effects whatsoever from the vaccines. In most cases, where side effects are experienced, they are mild.
Some common side effects include:
- Pain, redness and/or swelling at the site of vaccination
- Muscle pain
- Chills and fever
These side effects typically start about six hours after receiving the vaccine and disappear within two to three days. To relieve side effects, you can use paracetamol or anti-inflammatory medication.
Note that, if you develop a cough, sore throat, a change in your sense of smell/taste, or you have a fever of 38 degrees Celsius or more that lasts a few days, you could have COVID-19 (unrelated to the vaccine). You should get tested and self-isolate for 10 days if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19.
In very rare cases, individuals may experience more serious effects such as anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) or TTS – thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (blood clot with low platelets). Cases of TTS have occurred in only seven out of every million people vaccinated. Severe allergic reactions have occurred between two and 11 per million people vaccinated.
While these side effects may seem alarming, it’s important to remember that, in the majority of cases, vaccination isn’t only safe but demonstrably effective. Vaccination reduces infection rates and protects individuals and populations from the dangerous and potentially long-term effects of the COVID-19 virus. The likelihood of blood clots occurring from exposure to the COVID-19 virus itself are still 30-100 times higher than the rate of TTS.
The benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks of contracting COVID-19.