5 things to know about side effects after COVID-19 vaccine

A file photo of a COVID-19 vaccine being prepared in Stamford, Conn., taken on Monday, March 15, 2021.

Thursday marked the next wave of vaccine eligibility for Connecticut.

Individuals ages 16 and up became eligible to register for COVID-19 vaccine appointments in Connecticut.

Below are five things you need to know about the side effects you could experience after getting vaccinated.

Anyone who experience a side effect after a COVID-19 vaccine can report it at vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html/.

Experts say a more extreme reaction to dose could could be an indicator that the vaccine is working.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health said the vaccine works by sending instructions to cells in the upper arms to make what is known as a “spike protein,” which is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19. The body’s immune system recognizes that the protein doesn’t belong and created antibodies to attack it.

Experts said that immune system response is what leads to the side effects, and that they can be worse after a second dose because the body is more likely to recognize the protein the vaccine creates, and “the response can be more vigorous.”

Pain, redness and swelling at the injection site

Tiredness

Headache

Muscle/joint pain

Chills

Fever

Nausea

The CDC said “these side effects are normal signs that your body is building protection and should go away within a few days.”

In trials of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, more people reportedly experienced side effects after their second dose.

Roughly twice as many individuals in the Pfizer clinical trial reported chills and joint pain after their second dose than after their first. In a Moderna trial, roughly five times as many individuals reported chills after their second dose than after their first.

Swelling and redness at the injection site and fevers were more commonly reported by clinical trial participants for both vaccines after their second dose than after their first dose.

Experts have said these side effects are the body’s way of developing immunity against the virus.

The CDC recommends talking to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medications — like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin or antihistamines — for any pain or discomfort after getting vaccinated. The CDC said it is not recommended to take these medicines before vaccination in an attempt to prevent side effects.

To reduce pain and discomfort at the injection site, the CDC recommends a clean, cool, wet washcloth compress over the area and exercise or use of the arm. The CDC said dress lightly and drink plenty of fluids to reduce discomfort from fever after vaccination.

The CDC said the side effects after the second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines could be more intense than the ones experience after the first dose.

In trials of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, more people reportedly experienced side effects after their second dose.

Roughly twice as many individuals in the Pfizer clinical trial reported chills and joint pain after their second dose than after their first. In a Moderna trial, roughly five times as many individuals reported chills after their second dose than after their first.

Swelling and redness at the injection site and fevers were more commonly reported by clinical trial participants for both vaccines after their second dose than after their first dose.

Experts have said these side effects are the body’s way of developing immunity against the virus.

Connecticut officials did not respond to request for comment on whether there have been varying reports of side effects across the three vaccines.

Connecticut Media Group