Why Your 'Weird' Side Effects From The COVID-19 Vaccine Are Actually A Good Sign

Yin and yang, peanut butter and jelly, and wool in the winter time. Just like these known pairings, vaccines and side effects go together. Of course, there are symptoms to worry about. But as soon as we stop seeing the partnership between side effects and vaccinations as negative, we can be more open to understanding that they are actually a good sign.

The ongoing pandemic has greatly affected the entire world. So it's only natural the vaccines and their side effects are going to be under magnified scrutiny. Peter Chin-Hong, M.D., a professor of medicine at UCSF shares his explanation with SF Gate. "Everybody's getting vaccinated now on such an unprecedented level," he says. "So with a large population, you're going to see different things in different people. And then people are very keyed in to any side effect that occurs, so they're going to report it. And I think people are tuned in to that." Being tuned in is great. And most of us are well aware of the "usual" COVID-19 vaccine side effects.

Weird is normal when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists fever, headache, muscle pain, and chills as common reactions. But there are a lot of "weird" side effects that have recently been reported that are causing concern. Dr. Chin-Hong describes to SF Gate that some of the weird symptoms include "Moderna arm," which is the itchy rash that appears at the injection site of the Moderna vaccine. There have also been reports of lymph node swelling and extra swelling on facial and lip fillers for people who have those.

Understandably weird, yes. But Dr. Chin-Hong reassures the public that they are not a cause for alarm. When describing how the body reacts after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, he says, "It is your immune system being trained like elite Navy SEALs. It's just thinking about your immune system being primed, is really the healthy way to think about it. The same cells that cause you to feel like that, are the ones that are going to be called to the battle when the real COVID comes along."

A COVID-19's vaccine and side effect partnership may get "weird" sometimes. But it is important to remember our bodies react differently to immunizations. And most of the time, weird is normal. That being said, if you are ever worried about a specific side effect that shows up after being vaccinated, then call your health care professional for further examination.