CDC Tracking COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects
More than 40 million Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As with other vaccines, there can be side effects.
The CDC is tracking those side effects, even launching a new app so people can check in after receiving the vaccine. Common symptoms can include pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site. Some skin rashes have also been reported. Doctors say don’t panic.
“Anything from a headache to a feeling of muscle aches or fatigue and just feeling maybe even chills and fever, signs that your immune system is responding to the vaccine,” says Dr. Lisa Maragakis, senior director of infection prevention for the Johns Hopkins Health System.
Dr. Maragakis says, so far, data suggests women are reporting more side effects, as are people who have had COVID already. “That’s probably because their immune system already knows how to respond to the virus,” Dr. Maragakis says.
As we age, the immune system is less able to mount a more robust response to the vaccine, which may explain why younger adults are also reporting more side effects. “If the symptoms go on to day three after vaccination or more, then that’s the time to reach out to your doctor,” Dr. Maragakis says.
Gabe Willis is fully vaccinated but experienced some side effects after receiving his first shot last month. “A lot of fatigue, and my lymph nodes under my arm were really swollen,” Willis says.
Willis, who serves as dean of students at Southeastern Louisiana University is sharing his experience to assure others. “The long-term benefit of getting back to what we know and love outweighs it all,” he says. He hopes life can get back to normal as more people are protected.
Severe allergic reactions to the COVID vaccine remain rare. The CDC is recommending anyone getting the COVID vaccine be monitored on site. People who have had severe allergic reactions or immediate reactions to a vaccine should be monitored for at least 30 minutes after getting the vaccine.