What To Do If Your Arm Feels Sore After Getting The COVID-19 Vaccine

After receiving your COVID-19 vaccine, you may feel some soreness or pain in your arm near the injection site. While having a sore arm can be uncomfortable, it is a common and harmless side effect of the vaccine. It also means that the vaccine is working. When you get vaccinated, your body develops an immune response by learning to fight off the virus (via Bustle). This elicits an inflammatory response, which may lead to pain or swelling near the injection site.

While it is unpleasant, arm soreness is temporary and can be easily treated with over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. However, it is important not to take them before receiving your COVID-19 vaccine. Doing so may lessen your body's immune response to the vaccine. Additionally, you can ice the injection site to help reduce any swelling and pain. For best results, ice your arm on and off for 20 minutes at a time.

If you don't experience any arm pain, however, that doesn't mean that the vaccine isn't working. It just means that different people have different reactions to the vaccine.

Other common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine

While arm soreness is the most common side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine, there are a few other mild side effects to be aware of. Some people who have received the vaccine have reported experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, fever, chills, nausea, and muscle aches, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While headaches can be treated with over the counter pain relievers, other side effects can be relieved by resting and drinking plenty of water (via Today).

Side effects of the vaccine typically last between 24 and 48 hours. If they last longer than that and don't start to improve, you should contact your doctor immediately. One side effect, however, might persist longer than 48 hours. If you experience a rash near the injection site, it could take as long as a week to subside. Although it may seem alarming, it's not harmful and it will go away on its own. Since it is considered a mild allergic reaction, taking an antihistamine may help.

Although these side effects may be uncomfortable, they should not deter you from getting vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and is important for the health and safety of yourself and those around you.