COVID-19 vaccines, like all vaccines, may cause side effects, although not everyone experiences them and those who do experience them mostly report minor side effects. The most commonly reported side effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine are localized reactions including pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, chills, and mild fever.
Ongoing studies on these COVID-19 vaccines indicate serious side effects found todate are extremely rare. People who have received the vaccine in these studies continue to be monitored for any longer-term side effects.
Clinic staff are prepared to manage a severe allergic reaction should it occur. When receiving your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, tell the health care provider administering the second dose if you had any side effects after the first dose.
Very rarely, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine has been associated with a rare form of blood clot after vaccination. Doctors are calling this “vaccine-induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia” (VIPIT). These blood clots have two important features: they occur 4 to 20 days after vaccination, and they are associated with low platelets (tiny blood cells that help form blood clots to stop bleeding). VIPIT seems to be rare, occurring in anywhere from 1 in every 125,000 to 1 in 1 million people. It is most common in women under the age of 55. Please see VIPIT Following AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccination for more information.
Health Canada has assessed this and determined that the benefits of the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine in protecting Canadians from COVID-19 continue to outweigh the risks. Blood clots are common, especially in older people. COVID-19 itself has been associated with causing blood clots, so all COVID-19 vaccines continue to be recommended for people who have had a blood clot in the past, or who have a family history of blood clots and who are receiving blood thinning medications.
Vaccine Side Effects
Vaccine Side Effects - Rash