Can the COVID-19 Booster Shot Cause Side Effects?
November 08, 2021
Certain fully vaccinated people are now eligible for COVID-19 booster shots. If you experienced side effects when you were vaccinated initially, you may wonder if you’ll have any noticeable symptoms in response to your booster shot. While you may have some side effects, they should be no worse than what you experienced originally and may well be milder.
Here are answers to some common questions about side effects and COVID-19 booster shots:
Who is Eligible for a COVID-19 Booster Shot?
Regardless of which vaccine you had originally, it is recommended that you receive either the Moderna or Pfizer brand for your booster.
On May 5, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limited the authorized use of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine to those 18 and older who:
- Are allergic to an ingredient within the mRNA vaccines, or had a severe reaction after their first dose,
- Don't have access to the other approved COVID-19 vaccines, or
- Who elect to receive the J&J brand and would otherwise not be vaccinated.
The FDA released this recommendation due to the risk of a rare blood clotting syndrome, thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). The CDC notes that the risk of TTS occurs at a rate of about 3.83 cases per million doses administered.
What Side Effects are Common After COVID-19 Booster Shots?
Most people who get COVID-19 booster shots experience mild to moderate side effects. Commonly reported side effects include:
- Pain at the injection site
- Redness and/or swelling at the injection site
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Swollen lymph nodes under the arm that received the injection
How Soon After the Booster Shot Might Side Effects Occur?
You probably experienced COVID-19 vaccine side effects fairly quickly when you had your initial injections. The same is true for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots: Most people notice side effects within the first 24 hours. The symptoms typically only last a day or two. Some people don’t notice any side effects.
Is it Possible to Relieve COVID-19 Booster Shot Side Effects?
There are a few ways to minimize unpleasant symptoms after a booster shot:
- Take over-the-counter medication (acetaminophen or ibuprofen), if you doctor allows it
- Put a cold compress or a cool, wet washcloth on the injection site
- Walk or otherwise keep your arm in motion, rather than sitting idly
Next Steps & Resources:
- Meet our source: Elliot Frank, M.D.
- To make an appointment with Dr. Frank, or a doctor near you, call 800-822-8905 or visit our website.
- If eligible, schedule your COVID booster today
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.