Is It Normal For Your Lymph Nodes To Swell After Getting A Vaccine?

Many people are nervous about experiencing side effects after getting a vaccine. It is understandable to feel concerned when you do notice some odd symptoms after getting a shot. Some side effects, like allergic reactions, require immediate medical attention, but others are mostly harmless. According to CNN, many people have been experiencing swollen lymph nodes in the underarm area after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

While it can be alarming to feel a lump under your skin, this is a harmless side effect. Because the COVID-19 vaccine is so effective, it creates an immediate response in most people that may involve a swollen lymph node. "It incites an immune response by the body that is necessary to fight off the Covid-19 virus, should it enter a person's body," Dr. Connie Lehman, chief of breast imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School, told CNN. "So these enlarged lymph nodes are evidence that the vaccine is doing exactly what our bodies need it to do."

Other harmless side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine

Swollen lymph nodes aren't the only side effect you may experience after getting vaccinated. When you get vaccinated, your body creates an immune response that will help it protect you later on if the disease ever enters your body (via CDC). Mild side effects often go away after a few days. After getting a vaccine, you may experience tiredness, muscle aches, fever, and chills. You may also experience pain, redness, or swelling on your arm where you were given the shot.

A rash on the arm has been somewhat common with the COVID-19 vaccine. Often called "COVID arm," the skin area where you received the vaccine may get red and swollen a few days after the shot is administered (via Yale Medicine). "These are what we call 'delayed injection site reactions.' If it is going to arise, it usually appears about a week after your vaccine," said Brita Roy, MD, MPH. "It's a red, swollen area at the site of the shot." This symptom should go away after a few days and is not a reason to avoid a second dose.