The One Side Effect That's Much More Common With Pfizer, Data Shows

Side effects vary slightly for each vaccine, but this one only shows up with Pfizer patients.

As the three COVID vaccines approved in the U.S. become available to more people, many are wondering what side effects will come with their shot from either Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. While there aren't huge differences between the side effects people experience with each COVID vaccine, there are some notable variations. To give you a better idea of what to expect, The Guardian used clinical trial data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to create graphics demonstrating the most commonly reported side effects of each of the three approved vaccines. Keep reading to learn about some of the main differences between them, including the side effect that's only been reported among Pfizer patients. And to see if you're susceptible to a more intense reaction, find out Why Half of People Have Stronger Vaccine Side Effects, CDC Says.

Diarrhea was only reported as a side effect among those who got the Pfizer vaccine.

Man Touching Aching Stomach Lying On Couch At Home
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While other gastrointestinal side effects were reported among those who got the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, neither had significant reports of diarrhea following inoculation. However, diarrhea was one of the top 10 most common side effects reported among those who got the Pfizer vaccine. According to The Guardian, 11.1 percent of people reported diarrhea after their first dose from Pfizer, and 10.4 percent reported the side effect after their second shot. And if you feel totally fine after you get vaccinated, check out This Is What It Means If You Have No Vaccine Side Effects, Doctors Say.

However, nausea was much more common with Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

young woman with nausea covering her mouth
Shutterstock/Onjira Leibe

Although diarrhea is more prominent with the Pfizer vaccine, those who got that shot seemed to largely evade the nausea or vomiting that occur with the others. According to the clinical trial data, 9.4 percent of people reported experiencing nausea and vomiting after their first Moderna shot, and that number grew to 21.3 percent after the second dose. For those who got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson jab, 15.5 percent experienced nausea. Meanwhile, less than 2 percent of people who got Pfizer vaccinations experienced vomiting after either shot, and nausea wasn't even one of the top 10 side effects of that COVID vaccine. And for more news about second doses, check out The CDC Just Gave This New Warning About Your Second COVID Shot.

Those who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine didn't report experiencing chills.

Sick woman wrapped in blanket
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Chills are one of the most common side effects of the Moderna and Pfizer shots, with almost half of people reporting the side effect after their second Moderna dose and over 35 percent of people experiencing it after their second Pfizer shot. However, according to the data, chills were not reported as one of the top side effects of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. And for more up-to-date COVID news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Only people who got the Moderna vaccine reported enlarged glands as a side effect.

Woman checking out her swollen lymph nodes
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Swollen glands are a common immune response to both illness and vaccination. However, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer patients did not report this as a common side effect of their shots. On the other hand, 11.6 percent of people who got Moderna's vaccine had enlarged glands after the first dose and 16 percent experienced the side effect after the second dose. And for more on why this particular side effect matters, check out The CDC Says Don't Do This Until 4 Weeks After Getting Vaccinated.

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Allie Hogan
Allie Hogan is a Brooklyn based writer currently working on her first novel. Read more
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