Campus Life

Coronavirus on the Hilltop: Vaccine Side Effects

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Four months ago, COVID-19 vaccine distribution officially began in the U.S. Now, more than seventy-six million people in the nation have their shots.

As exciting as receiving a vaccine might be for some people, it may also bring some less appealing side effects. According to the CDC, typical side effects include pain, swelling, and redness around the injection site. Tiredness, headaches, chills, fevers, nausea, and muscle pain are common.

At the moment, experiencing side effects may seem unpleasant, but it’s completely normal.

“That [the side effects] is a result of your immune system activating and creating antibodies, so it’s doing what it’s supposed to do,” said Arthi Krishnan, a physician at the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center. “Having those side effects is actually kind of a good thing.”

Krishnan added she had heard some concern about contracting the virus through the shot.

“Some people feel that those side effects are actually getting the illness, or they fear that they have COVID, but that’s not the case,” she said. “You can not actually get the illness from the vaccine.”

The virus is not in the vaccine at all. Side effects are simply a sign that the immune system is working.

But, Krishnan added, not everybody reacts the same to the vaccine or has serious side effects.

“On one part of the spectrum, you’ll have the person that just got the shot, didn’t feel anything, and feels great,” Krishnan said. “Then you’ll get the other side of the spectrum where they feel like they were at death’s door with fevers, chill, headaches, and body aches.”

The CDC recommends exercising the arm, applying a cool washcloth over the injection site, and drinking plenty of fluid to ease any discomfort. If the redness or tenderness does not get better in 24 hours or other side effects don’t seem to be going away after a few days, it’s time to call a doctor.

Here’s What Else Happened This Week:

  • The White House announced it plans to allocate $1.7 billion to track COVID-19 variants.
  • North Texans can book a same-day or next-day vaccine appointment at Fair Park.
  • The Pfizer CEO said to prepare to get a booster dose of the vaccine within the first 12 months of becoming fully vaccinated. He also added people might need to get their COVID-19 vaccine annually.

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