These Are the Side Effects of the New Johnson & Johnson Vaccine, FDA Says

A report from the administration highlighted possible reactions for this COVID vaccine.

With two COVID vaccines already on the market, the U.S. is on the verge of having a third within the week—as long as it's approved for emergency-use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Feb. 26. This new vaccine, created by Johnson & Johnson, is different from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines in several ways, including the fact that it only requires one dose. In a new report released by the FDA before its approval meeting, the agency has identified the possible side effects you could experience with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Read on to find out what reactions to prepare for, and for more serious vaccine side effects, If This Happens After Your Vaccine, the FDA Says You Should Call 911.

Injection site pain

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The FDA says the most frequent local adverse reaction with Johnson & Johnson's vaccine was injection site pain, which was reported by 48.6 percent of the vaccine recipients. According to the report, 58.6 percent of recipients aged 18 to 59 reported this side effect, while 33.3 percent of those 60 and older reported experiencing this. And for more on this vaccine, This Is Who Should Wait for the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine, Experts Say.

Skin redness

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Skin redness, otherwise know as erythema, is another type of local adverse reaction that occurred in some vaccine recipients, but at a much lower frequency than injection site pain. According to the report, only 7.3 percent of vaccine recipients reported this side effect. And for more coronavirus news, If You've Had This Common Illness, You're More Likely to Die From COVID.


Senior man holding up shirt sleeve to show the sticking plaster after a flu jab in shoulder

Alongside injection site pain and skin redness, swelling is another possible local adverse reaction from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, per the FDA. However, it is the least likely. Only 5.3 percent of vaccine recipients reported this side effect—and as with the other two local adverse reactions, this side effect was more common in younger participants than older ones. And for more essential vaccine guidance, The CDC Says Don't Do This Within 2 Weeks of Your COVID Vaccine.


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Headache was the most frequently reported systemic adverse reaction, occurring in 38.9 percent of the vaccine recipients. It was also the second most common side effect overall, followed by injection site pain, according to the report. And for more on the future of the pandemic, This Is When the COVID Pandemic Will Be Completely Over, Experts Say.


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Fatigue was the second most common systemic side effect with 38.2 percent of vaccine recipients reporting it. According to the report, the median duration for fatigue was two days, but 1.6 percent of the recipients reported experiencing this side effect for longer than seven days. And for more on vaccine reactions, The CDC Says These 3 Side Effects Mean Your Vaccine Is Working.

Muscle pain

man with backache and muscle pain

Muscle pain, otherwise known as myalgia, was reported by 33.2 percent of the vaccine recipients. Much like fatigue, the median duration for myalgia was only two days, but 1.1 percent of the recipients reported feeling this side effect for longer than seven days. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.


woman experiencing nausea and stomach pain

Nausea was another possible systemic adverse reaction, according to the report. Out of the vaccine recipients, 14.2 percent reported experiencing this side effect, but unlike the other systemic reactions (which were more common in younger participants), nausea was reported similarly among age groups. The FDA says that 15.5 percent of those aged 18 to 59 experienced this side effect, while 12.3 percent of participants 60 years and older experienced it. And for insight into life after the vaccine, Dr. Fauci Just Confirmed You Can Do This After Getting Vaccinated.


Sick man checking temperature and feeling bad at home

According to the FDA, fever was another possible systemic adverse reaction, but it was less common than any of the others. Only 9 percent of participants reported this side effect, and no participants reported experiencing a fever for longer than seven days. And for more on vaccine reactions, If You Have These Vaccine Side Effects, Don't Get Another Shot, CDC Says.

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