After Getting the Vaccine

Are there side effects from COVID-19 vaccine?

There can be side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine, but they tend to be mild and go away in a few days. Side effects may include:

  • redness, swelling, or feeling sore where you had the needle
  • feeling tired
  • headache
  • fever or chills
  • body aches or sore joints
  • nausea, vomiting or diarrhea can occur but is very rare
  • swollen lymph nodes

It is important to stay at the clinic for 15 minutes after your vaccine. Some people may have a rare but serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. The nurses in the clinic are trained to care for someone with an anaphylactic reaction.

Wait at least 28 days after you have all doses of the COVID-19 vaccine before you:

  • get another vaccine
  • try to get pregnant

It is rare to have a serious side effect. If you start to feel unwell and develop serious side effects following your vaccination, call 911 or visit the emergency department.

How can I manage side effects?

  • To help with soreness and swelling, put a cool, wet cloth over the area where you had the needle.
  • There is medicine to help with fever or pain. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure what medicine or dosage to take. Follow the directions on the package.
  • Children under the age of 18 years should not take aspirin because it can cause serious health problems.
  • Some people with health problems, such as a weak immune system, must call their doctor if they get a fever. If you have been told to do this, call your doctor even if you think the fever is from the vaccine.

I recently received the COVID-19 vaccine, but a few days later, I developed symptoms and then tested positive for COVID-19. Why did this happen?

None of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines in use in Canada contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

After COVID-19 immunization, it takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity so that you are protected from the virus. Therefore, you can still get infected with COVID-19 just before or just after being immunized, and become sick after your immunization occurred.

The COVID-19 vaccines are not 100 per cent effective. Although immunization will greatly reduce your risk of becoming infected with COVID-19, there is still a small chance that you can become infected even after being immunized.

You should continue to follow all public health measures such as wearing a mask in public, physically distancing of 6 feet from others, wash your hands often, and keep your contacts outside of your household to a minimum.

Published date: 
April 8, 2021
Health and Wellness

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6414
Fax: 902-368-4121

DeptHW@gov.pe.ca