The BC Centre for Disease Control has issued a new infographic to show British Columbians what side effects they might experience after getting the COVID-19 vaccine as well as some important things to remember.
First, the BCCDC underscores that it is common to experience side effects for a day or two following the vaccine. Pain, redness, itchiness or swelling at the injection site is common. However, it might show up right after you get the vaccine and/or after day 7 following vaccination.
You may also feel tired or have a headache after receiving the vaccine, or you might have a fever and chills. Muscle or joint soreness is also common, as are nausea and vomiting.
"Most side effects are not serious and should go away on their own; however, you may feel sick," adds the BCCDC.
Tips for side effects
Put a cool damp cloth or a wrapped ice pack on painful areas.
If needed, you can take medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Advil®) to ease discomfort from side effects. ASA (e.g., Aspirin®) should not be given to anyone under 18 years of age.
Symptoms to look out for
- Some of the side effects of the vaccine are similar to symptoms of COVID-19. The vaccine will NOT cause or give you COVID-19.
- Symptoms such as a sore throat, runny nose, cough or other problems breathing are NOT side effects of the vaccine.
- If you experience ANY symptoms of COVID-19, use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool.
- If you are worried about your symptoms, contact your health care provider or call 8-1-1.
- Serious side effects after receiving the vaccine are rare. If you develop any serious side effects or an allergic reaction seek medical attention or call 9-1-1 right away. Let them know you’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine.
Returning for the second dose of vaccine
- The person giving you the vaccine will let you know when you can return for your second dose. It is important to get both doses of the vaccine to protect you against COVID-19.
- Bring your immunization record with you for the second dose. A record of your COVID-19 immunization will also be available online through Health Gateway. To register, visit their online portal.
Things to remember
- If you need to get another vaccine before you get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose, talk to your healthcare provider first about when you can receive other vaccines.
- It will take about two weeks after getting the first dose to build immunity to the virus. If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19 before or during this time, you may not yet be fully protected, so you can still get COVID-19.
- You might be contacted to participate in safety monitoring for COVID-19 vaccines. For more information visit the CANVAS-COVID study online.
What Phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out will look like in B.C.
Earlier this month, the B.C. government released new infographics to inform people when they may book their vaccine appointment during Phase 2 of its COVID-19 immunization plan.
The Province announced that seniors aged 80+ and Indigenous peoples aged 65+ are able to book their vaccine appointment in March, following the province's age-based booking schedule.
Vaccine call centres for seniors opened Monday, March 8. You can book a vaccine appointment for yourself or your spouse. You can also have a family member or friend call for you.
Additionally, health officials encourage the public to reach out to people they know who are eligible to book their vaccine appointment and help them arrange it.