The FDA Is Warning About These COVID Vaccine Side Effects

These reactions can occur with either the Moderna or Pfizer coronavirus vaccines.

Vaccinations are well underway in the U.S., and while many are eager for their chance to get the COVID vaccine, others have expressed reservations. Some of that anxiety comes from the side effects that have been reported among those who have already received the vaccine. However, both the vaccines currently available in the U.S.—Moderna's and Pfizer's—were authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with full knowledge of the side effects. In fact, these reactions are normal responses to your body building immunity and will disappear a few days after your vaccination. If you're wondering what you should expect, the FDA warns about eight side effects you could experience after getting either COVID vaccine. Read on for the full list, and for more on vaccine reactions, Dr. Fauci Says These 2 Side Effects Mean Your COVID Vaccine Is Working.

Injection site pain, redness, or swelling

Woman with pain in shoulder and upper arm, Ache in human body , office syndrome , health care concept

Both the Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine may produce a reaction around the area on your arm where you got your shot. According to the FDA, you could experience three adverse reactions at the site of your injection: pain, redness, and swelling. It's important to note that this is most likely not an allergic reaction. When it comes to the latter, the FDA says you should watch out for a rash over your entire body, swelling of your face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness, as these are the signs of a severe allergic reaction that necessitates calling 911. And for more on the vaccine rollout, If You Live in These States, You Can Now Get Vaccinated at Walmart.


Shot of a mature man lying on his bed feeling exhausted

Many people report feeling extremely tired after their COVID vaccine, which is why the FDA lists it as a potential side effect. Anthony Fauci, MD, White House COVID adviser, reported this as one of his main side effects after his second vaccine dose. "I was hoping that I wouldn't get too knocked out. I did for about 24 hours," Fauci told White House reporters on Jan. 21. And for more on the infectious disease expert's vaccine reactions, Dr. Fauci Says He Had These Side Effects From His Second Vaccine Dose.


Cropped shot of an attractive young businesswoman suffering with a headache while standing in her office

The FDA says headaches can occur after either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. Both companies reported that headache was their second most common systemic side effect, with 64.7 percent experiencing a headache with Moderna and 55.1 percent experiencing one with Pfizer. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Muscle and joint pain

young women having pain in injured arm , office syndrome , health care concept

You might feel a little achy after your vaccination, which is normal. The FDA says that muscle and joint pain can be a side effect for either vaccine. Muscle pain was more common, at 61.5 percent in Moderna recipients and 38.3 percent in Pfizer recipients. However, joint pain was still pretty common in both—45.4 percent in Moderna and 23.6 percent in Pfizer. And for more vaccine news, If You're Over 65, You Shouldn't Get This New Vaccine, Experts Warn.


Young man shivering under the blanket and drinking tea

The FDA says that you may experience chills after getting the vaccine. This doesn't mean you're sick—it's just a side effect. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), neither of the vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID, meaning they "cannot make you sick" with the virus. And for more adverse reactions you should know, This COVID Vaccine Side Effect Could Show Up a Week After Your Shot.


Sick woman lying in the bed covered with blanket with high temperature.

Fever is a possible side effect for both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. However, it's not nearly as common as some of the other reactions. Only about 15.5 percent of people experience a fever after the Moderna vaccine, and 14.2 percent reported this side effect after Pfizer's. And for more coronavirus news, If You Have These 4 Symptoms, You Might Have the New COVID Strain.


close up senior woman using hand to touch stomach after feeling pain
Chainarong Prasertthai / iStock

The FDA says you could experience nausea with either vaccine, but it may be more likely after receiving the Moderna vaccine. Moderna reported that 23 percent of people experienced nausea, vomiting, or both after getting their vaccine, but Pfizer did not report this as a common symptom. And for more news on vaccine reactions, Tyler Perry Said He Had These Side Effects From the COVID Vaccine.

Swollen lymph nodes

Armpit pain

Swollen lymph nodes is a reaction that the CDC doesn't note on its list of common vaccine side effects, but the FDA says it could happen. While this swelling can occur anywhere you have lymph nodes, like in the neck or arm, the FDA specifically says swelling of lymph nodes in the same arm of the injection is most common for Moderna's vaccine. And for more essential vaccine guidance, Dr. Fauci Says Doing This After Getting Vaccinated Is a Huge Mistake.

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