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What about side effects from the COVID vaccines?

Health care workers answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Hector Flores, MD explains that mild side effects from the COVID vaccines are normal signs that the body is building protection against illness from COVID.

Usually, pain in the arm where the injection occurred, and then maybe for a day or two, they may get body aches, low temp, low-grade temperature, headaches. Sometimes people describe nausea as part of this, but it shouldn’t last more than two days. If something lasts more than two days, they may want to consult with their doctor and make sure that it’s not something that coincidentally occurred at the time that they got the vaccine.

There are very rare cases of more severe complications. For example, we’ve all heard of severe allergic reactions. And in most cases, we know that the individual who had a severe reaction to the vaccine already had a history of severe allergic reactions to bee stings, for example. So, we do ask that question, on the registration, “Have you ever had a serious allergic reaction to any vaccine or any component of a vaccine or to other substances like medications or insects?” So, we pretty much can tell which patients are going to be high risk. As a provider of the vaccine, we go to extra steps to make sure we’re careful in providing them the vaccine and then keeping them extra-long time to observe them, to make sure there’s no side effects because the allergic, severe allergic reactions occur immediately.

This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming. Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decisions. Click here for vaccine FAQs from the CDC.

Stay up to date with your COVID vaccine, including boosters!

COVID vaccines are safe and effective for everyone ages 6 months and older.

Immunity wanes over time. Keep up your protection against COVID by getting boosted when eligible.

Updated (bivalent) boosters are now available for adults and children 6 months and older.