June 15, 2021

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What to Expect After Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine

Photo: EFE / Siphiwe Sibeko / File

Puerto Rico is in the early stages of vaccination against COVID-19. Some health professionals are already on their second dose and the elderly are beginning to get vaccinated with their first dose.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), patients may experience side effects, which are normal signs that their body is generating protection.

The CDC says that these side effects can affect your ability to go about your daily activities, but they should go away within a few days.

Most common side effects:

  • Pain in the arm where you injected yourself
  • Swelling in the arm where you injected yourself
  • Fever
  • Shaking chills
  • Fatigue
  • Headache

Some helpful advice from the CDC is that if you are in pain or have any discomfort, talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

To reduce pain and discomfort where you received the injectable vaccine:

  • Apply a clean, cool, damp cloth to the area.
  • Use or exercise your arm.

To reduce the discomfort caused by fever:

  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Wear light clothing.

According to the CDC, in most cases, it is normal to feel pain or discomfort from fever. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider:

  • If the redness or tenderness where you received the injectable vaccine increases after 24 hours
  • If your side effects worry you or do not seem to be going away after a few days

If you are vaccinated against COVID-19 and think you may be having a serious allergic reaction when leaving the vaccination site, seek medical attention immediately through 911.

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