Published: 19th January 2021
What the FAQ: What are the most common side effects of the Coronavirus vaccine and how to deal with them?
The COVID-19 vaccination drive has begun in India and across the world. Here's a breakdown of what the most common side effects can be after you get the jab
While the COVID-19 vaccinations are underway in India and the world, there seems to be some good news as well as bad. Norway recently issued a tale of caution for the old and terminally ill people who are being administered the Coronavirus vaccine, after 23 people died shortly after receiving a jab of the Pfizer vaccine. In India, every state has its own schedule and target for vaccination. At first, nearly one crore health workers and two crore frontline workers are slated to get the jab. Later, 27 crore people who are either above the age of 50 years or suffer from co-morbidities like diabetes and hypertension will get the vaccine. People have complained of side effects in the first three days of the vaccination drive, but the health ministry has assured that none is of major concern.
Here we explain the most common side effects that people can experience after getting the jab and what needs to be done then.
When did the COVID-19 vaccinations begin in India?
Ans: It began on January 16. Over 3.5 lakh people have been vaccinated since the rollout three days ago, the government stated on Monday. Out of those, there are more than 550 cases of adverse reactions been observed and seven people have been hospitalised. Two people have died — one in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh and the other in Karnataka's Bellary. However, neither deaths are related to vaccines, the government has confirmed on Tuesday morning.
What are the most common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines?
Ans: For Covishied, mild side-effects might show up after you have taken the jab:
- Pain at the site of injection
- Myalgia (muscle pain)
- Pyrexia (feverish)
The advisory on the Covishield vaccine reads that if a recipient is facing any such side-effects, then paracetamol can be administered. On rare occasions, the advisory also suggests that events of demyelinating disorders (any condition that results in damage to the protective covering, the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve fibres in your brain, optic nerves, etc) have been reported following the vaccination.
- Injection site pain or swelling
- Body ache
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cold and cough
What to do if you have side effects from COVID-19 vaccines?
Ans: People who have pain or discomfort after the inoculation should talk to their healthcare provider or doctor about taking over-the-counter medicine. For instance, the Health Ministry’s advisory recommended that if any person is having side effects after getting Covishield or Covaxin, paracetamol may be used to get symptomatic relief from post-vaccination adverse reactions.
The Centre for Disease Control has also shared a few helpful tips to obtain relief:
If you have pain or discomfort at the site of injection, you can apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area. You can also use or exercise your arm. To reduce discomfort from fever, the CDC guidelines suggested dressing lightly and drinking plenty of fluids.
When should you be alarmed and seek medical attention?
Ans: While discomfort from fever or pain at the injection site is quite normal in most cases, the CDC guidelines suggested that one should seek immediate medical attention when:
- The tenderness at the site of injection increases after 24 hours and there is significant swelling
- The side effects of the vaccines do not seem to go away even after a week or so
- You might realise you have a severe allergic reaction soon after leaving the COVID-19 vaccination site
(This is a developing story. The number of people vaccinated will change with time.)