Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more
Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.
The White House announced that vaccines will be required for international travelers coming into the United States, with an effective date of November 8, 2021. For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines. More information is available here.
Travel requirements to enter the United States are changing, starting November 8, 2021. More information is available here.

Possible Side Effects After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

Possible Side Effects After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine
Updated May 5, 2023

What You Need to Know

  • Side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine can vary from person to person.
  • Some people experience a little discomfort and can continue to go about their day. Others have side effects that affect their ability to do daily activities.
  • Side effects generally go away in a few days.
  • Even if you don’t experience any side effects, your body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Adverse events (serious health problems) are rare but can cause long-term health problems. They usually happen within six weeks of getting a vaccine.

Common Side Effects

Side effects after a COVID-19 vaccination tend to be mild, temporary, and like those experienced after routine vaccinations. They can vary across different age groups.

Helpful tips to relieve side effects


Woman taking a short daytime nap on couch at home

To relieve pain or swelling on the arm where you got the shot:

  • Apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area.
  • Use or keep moving your arm.
  • Also, if possible, get some rest.

To reduce discomfort from fever:

  • Drink plenty of fluids,
  • Dress in comfortable clothes,
  • Talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter (OTC) medicine, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin (only for people ages 18 years or older), or antihistamines.
    • It is not recommended to take these medicines before vaccination to try to prevent side effects as it is not known how OTC medicines might affect how well the vaccine works.


Ask your child’s healthcare provider for advice on using a non-aspirin pain reliever and learn about other steps you can take at home to comfort your child after vaccination.

Call a doctor or healthcare provider about a side effect if:

  • Redness or tenderness where the shot was given gets worse after 24 hours
  • Side effects are worrying or do not seem to be going away after a few days

Adverse Events after COVID-19 Vaccination Are Rare

Adverse events, including severe allergic reactions, after COVID-19 vaccination are rare but can happen. For this reason, everyone who receives a COVID-19 vaccine is monitored by their vaccination provider for at least 15 minutes.

After leaving a vaccination provider site, if you think you or your child might be having a severe allergic reaction, seek immediate medical care by calling 911.

Learn more about what you can do if you have an allergic reaction.

Reporting Side Effects and Adverse Events

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