A Timeline of COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects - Health & Welness Center

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

A Timeline of COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

If you’re getting ready for the initial or 2nd dose of your COVID-19 vaccine, you may question what negative effects to anticipate and also how to handle them.



If you’re getting ready for the initial or 2nd dose of your COVID-19 vaccine, you may question what negative effects to anticipate and also how to handle them.

Some side effects occur right after your shot, like moderate discomfort in your arm. Others might take hrs to create. Remember that with the two-dose injections like Pfizer-BioNTech as well as Moderna, you may notice a lot more adverse effects after the 2nd shot.

This write-up offers a step-by-step timeline of feasible symptoms to aid you comprehend what to anticipate after the stab.

Key Takeaways

  • Most people have a sore arm right after being vaccinated, and more body-wide effects like fever and chills within 8 to 12 hours.
  • Most side effects will stop within 48 hours.
  • The vaccine cannot cause a COVID-19 infection, so symptoms mean your body is building a healthy immune response.

Right After Vaccination

The COVID vaccines are intramuscular, or “IM” for brief. That suggests the fluid in the syringe goes straight right into a muscular tissue when the needle enters. Your body’s immune system sees this as a hazard, and discomfort at the shot website belongs to its feedback. That’s why your arm might end up being sore, turn red, or swell a little bit. Some people that obtain the Moderna vaccination may experience “COVID arm,” a delayed skin reaction with raised, red welts on the arm.1.

The moderate discomfort that COVID-19 injections may cause is similar to what some people report after the tetanus vaccination, Michelle Barron, MD, elderly clinical supervisor of infection prevention as well as control for the University of Colorado Wellness, tells Verywell.


The Centers for Disease Control and also Avoidance (CDC) advises positioning a cool, wet clean cloth over the area to help ease any type of pain.2 Moving or exercising your arm additionally might aid.

15 Minutes After Vaccination

The risk of anaphylaxis– a severe allergy to the vaccine– is reduced just 15 to 30 minutes after vaccination. This response is really unusual, yet the CDC requires every person who obtains the vaccine to wait in the center for 15 minutes after obtaining the shot, just in case it occurs.

” If you have actually had allergies in the past, we want individuals staying for 30 minutes,” Kate Mullane, DO, PharmD, teacher of medicine as well as transmittable condition professional at the College of Chicago, informs Verywell.

12 Hours After Vaccination

Opposite effects may begin within a few hours, or approximately 12 hours after the shot. People frequently report systemic side effects, like fever, headaches, muscular tissue pains, joint discomfort, chills, and fatigue.


In the Pfizer-BioNTech injection tests, greater than 77% of participants reported at least one systemic reaction. The most typical were fatigue, headache, and also new or worsened muscular tissue pain.4.

Some much less usual side effects consist of nausea or vomiting as well as puffy lymph nodes (especially in the armpit).

There’s no requirement to stress over any of the flu-like signs and symptoms. The side effects indicate your body is striving to construct the antibodies and also cells it will need to eliminate the infection, if or when you are subjected to it.

” Although you really feel dreadful, it’s a good idea, because those systemic results are informing you that your body is making an immune reaction,” Mullane states.


12 to 48 Hours After Vaccination

When these body-wide negative effects set in, they can last for 12 hours or more. Professionals claim these side effects ought to all stop within 24 to two days after your shot, though you might still have some small exhaustion or arm soreness afterwards.

Mullane states it’s finest to avoid crucial events or handle crucial tasks the day after your inoculation if you’re worried about the adverse effects. That’s since your vaccine appointment and the window for peak signs and symptoms aren’t most likely to happen at the same time. The majority of side effects come later on.

It’s OKAY to take an anti-inflammatory medication like Tylenol or ibuprofen to eliminate any type of signs. However Mullane says not to take it before the shot, as it can disrupt your immune action.


Many people report a sore arm, mild fever, or other symptoms after vaccination. These are not serious and will go away on their own. An August 2021 report5 from U.S. health officials found that, with 187 million people in the U.S. getting at least one dose, the vaccine benefits are far greater than the risks. But rare and serious complications may occur. They include:


  • Guillain-Barré syndrome (Johnson & Johnson)
  • Thrombosis, or blood clots (Johnson & Johnson)
  • Myocarditis (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna)

After 48 Hours

If you still have serious signs and symptoms two complete days after your inoculation, you may wish to talk with your doctor to see what to do next. It’s feasible that while you had injection side effects, you were also ill with COVID-19 or a different infection.

” If the signs and symptoms continue past the 48 hours and aren’t getting better, or if you establish any sort of breathing signs and symptoms, you must get evaluated,” Barron says.

It is essential to keep in mind that you can not get COVID-19 from any of the accepted injections. Nevertheless, it can take up to two weeks after the second shot of the two-dose vaccines, or the solitary dosage of the Johnson & Johnson, to install a complete immune reaction. A COVID infection and also its signs are still possible until the end of this waiting duration. It likewise is possible with an advancement infection, which suggests you have COVID despite the fact that you obtained the vaccination.

What This Means For You

If you’re fretted about exactly how your body may reply to the injection, strategy to rest in the day or two after your visit. While it’s safe to exercise, go to work and be around other people during that time, adverse effects like high temperature and fatigue might make it uncomfortable to do so.

Side Effects Vary

When you hear about other individuals’s experiences, remember that the vaccination side effects can vary substantially. Barron says that, in general, the adverse effects reported in the scientific trial data coincide as what individuals claim after obtaining their very own vaccinations.


” In the scientific trials, more youthful people were more likely to have reactions than older people,” Barron states. “They tended to have even more of the systemic signs like the high temperature and chills and also older individuals simply reported a little bit of tiredness and also arm discomfort.”.

” The healthier you are, the much more in tune your immune system is, the higher the chance that you’re mosting likely to have adverse effects due to the fact that your body immune system obtains activated,” Mullane adds.

If you don’t have intense adverse effects, like a high fever or body pains, it doesn’t necessarily mean your body won’t be shielded versus the infection. The moment or intensity with which individuals’s immune systems respond to vaccines can vary based upon lots of factors.

While the side effects can create some pain as well as discomfort, Barron claims that these effects are much better than the dangers of getting ill with COVID-19.


” Forty-eight hours of adverse effects versus possibly the danger for hospitalization and also fatality– I sort of think that prefers the vaccine,” Barron claims. “If there’s any doubt because of negative effects, I’ll say the disease is far even worse … or has the potential to be much worse.”.

As the issue over COVID vaccines continues, the most effective method to prepare yourself for your own experience is with excellent info concerning feasible negative effects. You can anticipate moderate signs like an aching arm, or flu-like signs that last up to 2 days before going away.

In unusual cases, a major response or difficulty might follow COVID inoculation. That’s not a reason to stay clear of a vaccine because the advantages still outweigh the dangers, however it is a great idea to keep a close eye on exactly how you really feel after obtaining your shot. Call your doctor if you believe your signs are significant.

The info in this post is current since the date noted, which implies more recent info might be offered when you read this. For the most recent updates on COVID-19, see our coronavirus news page.


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