COVID-19 Vaccine Fact vs. Fiction: Side Effects

Short-term side effects are similar to other symptoms you may experience after a vaccination and include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, joint and muscle aches, as well as pain at the injection site. These symptoms are common and can range from mild to severe and may occur after the first or second dose of the vaccine. People who receive the vaccine should plan ahead to accommodate expected side effects.

COVID-19 vaccines are still being tested for long-term side effects. To date, no long-term safety issues have been detected. For any vaccine, most side effects are reported within the first six (6) weeks.

Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continue to monitor the vaccines’ safety, provide information to the public, and take action on any safety concerns if they arise. In addition, Beth Israel Lahey Health is participating in a panel of leading infectious diseases physicians from academic centers across Massachusetts to review the data used by the FDA for each vaccine authorized under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to provide an expert and unbiased evaluation of vaccine safety and efficacy.

Your doctor can help answer questions about your personal risks, but here’s what we know for sure: Getting sick with COVID-19 is dangerous. COVID-19 can cause long-term health problems in some people, even in mild cases. It’s unlikely that vaccine-related side effects that are riskier than contracting COVID-19 will emerge.