Stay Calm: COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects Appear Not Much Worse Than Those of Other Vaccines
All vaccines aim to provoke your immune system to produce a protective response that will prevent or mitigate a future infection from the targeted microbes. In some people, that initial immune response might come with a few uncomfortable side effects.
Let’s briefly consider the common side effects of some vaccines often given to adults. The list of side effects of the seasonal flu vaccine, for example, includes soreness, redness, and/or swelling where the shot was given, a low-grade headache, fever, nausea, muscle aches, and fatigue. People inoculated with the hepatitis A vaccine sometimes experience swelling, tenderness, redness, warmth, or a hard lump where the shot was given, along with a low-grade fever, a general ill feeling, nausea, and a headache.
Travelers to the Asia-Pacific region are sometimes immunized (as I have been) against Japanese encephalitis. One in four people who contracts that disease dies. One study reported that 46 percent of those vaccinated experienced no side effects at all. However, 54 percent reported about one or more adverse effects. Local reactions at the injection site affected 41 percent of vaccine recipients, while 13 percent had systemic side effects like headach
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