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Vaccine side effects after COVID-19 shot are common but mostly mild

Apr 21, 2021, 6:27 PM | Updated: 6:28 pm
vaccine side effects...
Kindergarten teacher Christina Kibby receives the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine by pharmacist Madeline Acquilano, left, at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Conn., Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
(AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

SALT LAKE CITY — Almost 80% of the people getting vaccinations for COVID-19 have a sore arm at the site of the injection. And that’s the most common of the vaccine side effects patients experience. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show less than 25% of patients experience a mild fever or fatigue. But doctors say none of the common side effects should deter anyone from getting the shots.

Doctor Russell Vinik with University of Utah Healthcare said the side effects happen because the body is responding to the vaccine.

“That’s the whole purpose of the vaccine, is we show an antigen to our immune system, and our immune system sees that as abnormal and makes antibodies.”

What are the vaccine side effects?

Vinik said the common side effects typically go away in a day or two, and he says contracting a COVID-19 infection would be far more miserable.

Serious side effects, including a severe allergic reaction causing anaphylaxis, happen in fewer than five cases per million.

While we don’t yet have long-term data on the safety of the vaccines, Vinik said everything in medicine involves weighing risks against benefits, and people need to think about that.

“The benefits of these vaccines, at 90 to 95% efficacy, and how many millions of lives have probably been saved already, worldwide  … For me as a health care worker who has a family, it was a very easy decision for me to get vaccinated.”

RELATED:


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems six feet away from someone who is coughing or sneezing
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities).
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

 

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