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COVID vaccine side effects: How to manage them, what to avoid

For the tens of thousands who are getting the COVID-19 vaccine in New York every day side effects are still driving hesitation. In many ways, the writing was on the wall – as medical and health experts agreed in late-2020 that the CDC should be transparent about the side effects people experience with receiving the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Those three have been approved for several months and in late-August Pfizer received full authorization. It meant the emergency use authorization would remain active for J&J and Moderna, but even that added approval failed to change the minds of those who said side effects of the COVID vaccine would keep them from getting inoculated.

Part of the issue is that full vaccination requires two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna versions whereas the J&J only requires a single shot. Here’s the catch, though: They all create side effects that range from nothing at all- to minor, temporary flu symptoms.


Health experts say it’s normal to experience a little discomfort following the vaccine. “This means it’s working and creating an immune response in your body,” health experts with GetVaccineAnswers explains.

Soreness at the injection site, tiredness, headaches, fever, and chills are all possible. To go a step further, health experts are urging unvaccinated people that getting COVID-19 from the vaccine itself is not possible.

The side effects can last 2-3 days, or simply go away after a few hours.

Long-term side effects are exceptionally rare. In fact, even short-term serious side effects are rare.

As far as managing those short-term side effects – the answer is rest and hydration. Similar to the flu, staying hydrated and well-nourished are two simple ways to navigate the COVID-19 vaccine. While there were some warnings early on about not taking certain pain killers for relief – medical professionals have since said that over the counter medications like Tylenol to relieve some symptoms is safe.

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