Common COVID-19 vaccine side effects

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Mild aches are common. Serious issues are ultra-rare. Common side effects include:

  • A sore arm or a little rash near the injection.
  • A tired feeling.
  • Head or body aches.

These are signs that your immune system is doing what it should.

For more info, check our vaccine ingredient Q&A.

Serious side effects are rare. Serious allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis is seen in 0.001% of vaccine recipients. Most of these people have a history of vaccine allergies. Clinics will ask you to stay for 15 minutes after receiving the dose, which is why they keep you for observation after the shot.

Fewer than 1 in a million people who took the Johnson & Johnson vaccine experienced an unusual blood clot – but it’s not yet clear if they were caused by the vaccine.

Other serious side effects are extremely rare. 

Beware rumors about made up side effects! The FDA caught an issue seen in just 6 people out of 7 million (0.0008%) recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  You can be confident that they’d know about others. (Claims of foaming at the mouth, seizures, and sterility have been proven false).

Worried? Talk to  your doctor. If you are concerned about getting a vaccine, or you’ve had one and have concerns, call your healthcare provider. If you feel seriously ill, seek care, regardless of the cause.


Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. University of Minnesota. Very few severe allergic reactions tied to mRNA COVID vaccines

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What to Do if You Have an Allergic Reaction After Getting A COVID-19 Vaccine

Medical News Today. Global COVID-19 vaccine summary: Side effects

See an error in our work? Please let us know and include the source of your info. We’ll update or correct as appropriate.


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