Although unlikely, if you experience emergency warning symptoms at any time after receiving your COVID-19 vaccine, call 9-1-1 immediately. Emergency warning symptoms include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips or face, or any other sudden and severe symptom.

Common side effects include pain at the injection site, fever, body aches and headaches. These reactions are frequent (and indicate that your body is making an immune response to the vaccine) and should go away within 1-2 days, with the exception that swollen lymph nodes may persist up to about 10 days.

Swollen lymph nodes may be seen on routine screening mammograms for up to a month after vaccination. If you are due for a screening mammogram soon and it will not result in undue delays, you may consider scheduling it 4-6 weeks after your second vaccine appointment.

Help identify and minimize mild side effects

Read the vaccine information that came with your scheduling invite to refresh your knowledge about side effects. It can also be accessed here.  

  • Use an ice pack or cool, damp cloth to help reduce redness, soreness and/or swelling at the place where the shot was given.
  • A cool bath can also be soothing.
  • Drink liquids often for 1-2 days after getting the vaccine.
  • Take an over the counter pain reliever unless you have any specific contraindication.

For symptoms that are severe or last 72 hours or more contact your regular clinician or Primary Care Provider.

When to be tested for COVID-19 infection

The following symptoms suggest COVID-19 infection and are not common vaccine side effects

  • New loss of smell or taste
  • Cough or shortness of breath
  • Congestion/sore throat/runny nose/conjunctivitis (red eye)
  • Nausea/vomiting or diarrhea.

If you have one or more of these symptoms, stay at home, and call the Call Center or your regular clinician to schedule a COVID test. If you do have a positive COVID-19 test between your first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine, you should wait 10 days from when you first tested positive and be fully recovered before getting your second dose. You should still get the second dose.

You must continue to follow the advice of public health officials whether you are vaccinated or not: Wear your mask in public, ensure hand hygiene, and practice social distancing.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines