Side effects of COVID-19 vaccines

Find out about vaccination side effects and what to do if you experience them.

Common side effects

Like all medicines, you might experience some mild side effects 1—2 days after getting your vaccination. This is common, and a sign that your body is learning to fight the virus. They don’t last long and won’t stop you from having a second dose or going about your daily life.

The most common reported reactions to the Pfizer vaccine are:

  • pain at the injection site
  • a headache
  • feeling tired or fatigued
  • muscle aches
  • feeling generally unwell
  • chills
  • fever
  • joint pain
  • nausea.

If you feel uncomfortable

You can:

  • place a cold, wet cloth or ice pack on the injection site for a short time
  • rest and drink plenty of fluids
  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen.

When to seek help

If you have concerns or feel unwell after your vaccination, speak with your family doctor or other health professional, or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

If you’re concerned about your safety, call 111. Tell them you’ve had a COVID-19 vaccination so they can assess you properly.

Allergic reactions

If you’ve had a severe or immediate allergic reaction to any vaccine or injection in the past, tell your vaccinator when you arrive.

Serious allergic reactions do happen but are extremely rare.

If you have a reaction when getting the vaccine, a health worker will be there to look after you and make sure you’re okay.

Reporting side effects

If you experience side effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, we encourage you to report them.

Reporting side effects

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