Covid vaccine side effects: CDC warns of three new ‘common side effects’ to be aware of

Dr Hilary discusses Oxford vaccine side effects on Lorraine

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COVID-19 vaccine side effects have been described as “mild” by the NHS, and people shouldn’t expect them to last longer than a week. But as more people get the vaccine, health experts are learning more about its potential side effects. The CDC has just updated its list of Covid vaccine side effects, listing muscle pain, nausea and redness at the injection site.

Muscle pain

The CDC updated its vaccine guidance on March 5 and listed muscle pain among “common side effects”.

According to the CDC this is a distinct symptom from the pain you may experience in the arm you got your jab in.


Nausea was also added to the CDC’s list. Nausea is a term used to describe feeling sick.

If the feeling doesn’t go away after a few days, or the feeling keeps coming back, see a GP.

Redness at the injection site

Redness at the injection site, post-vaccine, was listed as another new side effect to look out for.

In rare cases, this site effect may even show up significantly after you receive your inoculation.

According to a March 3 letter published by The New England Journal of Medicine, some people have experienced a large, red, itchy and painful reaction at their vaccination site up to 11 days after receiving the Moderna vaccine.

Other “common side effects” listed by the CDC include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fever

The US health institute explains side effects are normal signs our body is building protection.

These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

Some people may not experience side effects.

It adds: “Talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, or antihistamines, for any pain and discomfort you may experience after getting vaccinated.

“You can take these medications to relieve post-vaccination side effects if you have no other medical reasons that prevent you from taking these medications normally.

“It is not recommended you take these medicines before vaccination for the purpose of trying to prevent side effects.”

It says to reduce pain and discomfort where you got the vaccine, apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area and use or exercise your arm.

To reduce discomfort from fever, drink plenty of fluids and dress lightly.

If the redness or tenderness where you got the vaccine gets worse after 24 hours, or if your side effects are worrying you or don’t seem to be going away after a few days, call your doctor.

The NHS advises telling healthcare staff before you are vaccinated if you’ve ever had a serious allergic reaction.

The health body warns: “You should not have the COVID-19 vaccine if you have ever had a serious allergic reaction (including anaphylaxis) to a previous dose of the same vaccine or any of the ingredients in the vaccine.

“Serious allergic reactions are rare. If you do have a reaction to the vaccine, it usually happens in minutes. Staff giving the vaccine are trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.”

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