COVID-19 booster side effects: What to expect and how to manage

More people will be experiencing side effects from their boosters now that all adults are eligible for the shot.

Most COVID-19 booster shot side effects are mild, flu-like and temporary. For some people, the symptoms can be so intense that they can't do their usual tasks. It can be difficult to work out or cook breakfast if you have an injured arm.

Booster side effects may be different.

The side effects you experience after your booster dose may be different than what you experienced after your first dose. They may be more severe than the ones you experienced before, according to a doctor. It's more difficult to predict which side effects you'll experience if you mix and match.

Alex Ossola said that J&J knocked her out when she received her first dose of the vaccine. "I had a full-blown flu, teeth chattering, and other ridiculous side effects." Her booster shot was much milder. She said that within 48 hours she felt normal.

Some people may get their flu vaccine at the same time as they get their booster. It's a convenient way to get both shots in the same appointment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It will be difficult to know which vaccine is responsible if you experience side effects later.

Lindsay Mann received a Moderna booster with her flu shot. She told TODAY that she has a low pain tolerance, so dealing with the soreness after having one shot in each arm was a challenge. She had a body ache, a cold, and complete exhaustion.

The vaccine and booster's side effects are usually mild and temporary. "If you're weighing the side effects of the vaccine against the effects of COVID, I would take the side effects of the vaccine any day," he said.

There are common booster shot side effects.

The side effects of all three types of COVID-19 vaccine boosters are the same. The data suggested that most people who received boosters had the same side effects after their second dose. What to know is based on each vaccine brand.

Pfizer-bioNTech COVID-19 booster side effects.

The Pfizer booster dose included the most common side effects in a clinical trial.

The injection site has pain, redness, and swelling.

There is fatigue.

There is a throbbing head.

Joint and muscle pain.

It's cold.

The side effects last between two and three days. The trial found that people were more likely to have swollen thwirn in the arm after receiving a booster dose than after their first two.

Moderna COVID-19 booster side effects.

The most common side effects of the Moderna COVID-19 booster shot were found in a clinical trial.

There is pain at the injection site.

There is a throbbing head.


Joint and muscle pain.

It's cold.

The vaccine injected into the arm caused a swollen lysy.

Dehydration and nausea.

There was a lot of achy skin.

Moderna's booster shot is half the size used in the initial series.

There are side effects from the COVID-19 booster.

The most common side effects for people who received two doses of the J&J vaccine are:

There is pain at the injection site.

There is fatigue.

There is a throbbing head.

There is pain in the muscles.

It is nausea.

Less common side effects included redness and swelling at the injection site as well as a high temperature.

If you see signs of more severe issues, keep an eye out.

There are some rare yet potentially severe side effects that you will want to keep an eye on in the days and weeks following your COVID-19 booster.

If you or your child experience chest pain, a change in heart rate, or breathing difficulties within a week of getting your vaccine or booster, you should get in contact with a health care provider, according to the CDC. Those can be signs of myocarditis or pericarditis, which are inflammation of the heart, and have been seen in young males after getting the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

The shot called "COVID arm" has a delayed reaction. The skin reaction can show up a few days after someone gets the vaccine. The skin might be raised, red, itchy, or burning, but it isn't a sign of anything dangerous or harmful. Experts think it's a delayed hypersensitivity reaction that should respond to over-the-counter drugs. If the arm doesn't resolve on its own within a few days, you should check with your doctor or dermatologist.

It's not clear how common the COVID arm is after the booster dose. "I've heard a lot of reports of that after the first and second doses, but I've not heard that as often after the booster," he said.

The J&J vaccine has been linked to an increased risk of a rare type of blood clot called thrombocytopenia syndrome, which occurs when a drop in blood platelets occurs within 42 days of receiving the vaccine. The CDC says that there are signs of this condition that include headaches, blurred vision, chest pain, and abdominal pain. If you notice any of these, you should talk to your doctor.

How quickly does the booster work?

The booster doesn't work immediately. Early data shows that immunity is boosted in a couple of weeks. It's possible to get a booster and get a COVID-19 infection quickly after, especially during the Thanksgiving and winter holiday season.

If you feel unwell for a day, it's probably due to the booster. If you still have the flu symptoms two or three days after the vaccine, you should see your doctor to make sure you don't have Covid.

How to manage COVID-19 booster shot side effects.

Over-the-counter medication can be used to manage most COVID-19 booster shot side effects. He cautions against taking those drugs before you get your shot. He said that you might not actually need them.

The CDC recommends not taking those medications before your appointment because of the concern that they might interfere with the vaccine.

The CDC suggests applying a cool compress to the arm after the shot, drinking enough water, and gently using the arm in which you got the injection.