Oprah Just Revealed the 3 Side Effects She Had From the COVID Vaccine

Here's how the talk show legend describes her experience with the COVID vaccine.

Getting vaccinated against COVID has triggered a huge wave of reassurance for the millions of Americans who've already received the life-saving jab—and that includes legendary talk show host Oprah Winfrey. In a Mar. 25 blog post on Oprah Daily, Oprah said getting vaccinated has given her "an overwhelming sense of relief." As many people across the country have taken to social media to share the varying aftereffects of their vaccinations—whether from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson—Oprah, too, opened up about how the jab left her feeling. Read on to learn what side effects Oprah endured, and for more on how people have reacted to the jab, check out This One Side Effect Signals a "Very Robust" Vaccine Response, Doctor Says.


A man with a fever grabs his head with his hand while reading a thermometer, doing a temperature check for coronavirus

Oprah, who quarantined during the COVID pandemic with her partner Stedman Graham and two of her adult "daughter girls" from South Africa, took to her blog to discuss her experience with the COVID vaccine. Without mentioning exactly which vaccine she got, it's clear it was either Pfizer or Moderna, the mRNA vaccines that require two doses—and she said she had "all the classic symptoms" after her second shot.

"The first shot, I wanted to cry but didn't, just from the overwhelming sense of relief. I'd had pneumonia the previous year, and my lungs were still sensitive," she wrote in the blog post. "I was very much afraid of the toll COVID-19 would take on me; it's why I was so super strict about the goings and comings of everyone in my space."

Though she didn't feel much except relief from her first dose, Oprah said a fever was one of the post-jab side effects of her second shot. A fever is considered one of the most common COVID vaccine side effects, along with headache, muscle pain, and nausea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC explains that a fever is "a normal sign that your body is building protection."

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Woman home sick with fever covered in blanket
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Chills were the second symptom Oprah said she felt from her second dose. According to the CDC, experiencing chills—feeling cold or shivering when you're not specifically in a cold environment—is another one of the most common side effects people experience after getting vaccinated against COVID. "Chills are caused by rapid muscle contraction and relaxation. They are the body's way of producing heat when it feels cold," according to MedlinePlus. "Chills often predict the coming of a fever or an increase in the body's core temperature." Again, this is a normal immune response that shouldn't cause concern.

And for insight into why Oprah might've experienced this reaction, read up on Why Half of People Have Stronger Vaccine Side Effects, CDC Says.


Woman experiencing fatigue at home

In addition to fever and chills, Oprah also felt lethargic, which normally accompanies body pains and a fever. It's listed on the CDC's website as another common side effect of the COVID jab.

And for more on the side effect showing up most with Moderna shots, check out The One Side Effect That's Much More Common With Moderna, Data Shows.

Oprah said she felt unwell for 30 hours, but considered it "a small inconvenience."


"After the second vaccination shot, I didn't feel well for about 30 hours," Oprah recounted. "But it was such a small inconvenience to be protected against a virus that's killed so many." She revealed that her time spent recuperating from the side effects left her thinking about the "more than half million people in this country who lost their lives because of this virus, and what they had to endure."

Despite her not-so-smooth post-vaccine experience, Oprah said she felt like "superwoman"—like she'd been "given a new lease on life."

Still, her life hasn't returned to normal just yet. Oprah said she rarely leaves her home, except for when she interviewed Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. But, she said, "when enough friends are vaccinated, I may have an outdoor taco party. I'm not ready to whoop whoop just yet…but eventually, I will ease into group gatherings," she wrote. And for more on when that might happen, check out When the COVID Pandemic Will Be Completely Over, Experts Say.

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