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COVID-19 vaccines side effects and safety

Covid-19 vaccination is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against Covid-19.

Millions of adults and children around the world have had a Covid-19 vaccine.

The safety of the vaccines has been extensively reviewed in both adults and children by independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The vaccines continue to be monitored and reports of serious side effects are very rare.

Common side effects of Covid-19 vaccination

Like all medicines, the Covid-19 vaccines can cause side effects, but not everyone gets them.

Most side effects are mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:

  • a sore arm from the injection
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy
  • mild flu-like symptoms
  • feeling or being sick

You or your child should rest. You can also take pain relief such as paracetamol to help you feel better.

You cannot catch Covid-19 from the vaccine.

Contact your GP if:

You or your child have had a Covid-19 vaccine and:

  • have symptoms that are getting worse
  • you're worried about your or your child's symptoms

Report a side effect

Report a vaccine side effect on the Covid-19 Yellow Card website

Very rare side effects of Covid-19 vaccination

Allergic reactions

Most people with allergies (including food or penicillin allergies) can be vaccinated against Covid-19.

If you've ever had a serious allergic reaction (including anaphylaxis), tell healthcare staff before you're vaccinated. They may ask what you're allergic to.

If you've had a mild allergic reaction before, such as a rash, wheezing or hives, you'll probably get a common Covid-19 vaccine. Staff giving the vaccine are trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.

If you are at risk of a serious allergic reaction, they may refer you to a specialist clinic to have an alternative Covid-19 vaccine.

Heart inflammation (myocarditis)

There have been rare cases of inflammation of the heart (myocarditis) reported after Covid-19 vaccination. Most people who had this recovered following rest and simple treatments.

Call 999 or go to the Emergency Department at Noble’s Hospital if:

You or your child have any of these symptoms within a few days of being vaccinated:

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heart (palpitations)

Vaccine Patient Information Leaflets:

You can opt in or opt out of the vaccination programme