COVID-19 vaccine side effects

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and get the COVID-19 vaccine, but there are so many stories about it you don’t know what to believe anymore. Globally, people have a lot of questions about the COVID-19 vaccine side effects.

RMA Namibia has gathered together a set of questions and answers to arm you with knowledge to help you make the correct choice for you and your family.

Is it normal to have COVID-19 vaccine side effects?

The COVID-19 vaccines are the first vaccines to be produced using the mRNA platform. They are highly effective but are also “reactogenic.” This means that they’re likely to cause a noticeable immune response.

It is important to note that you will be monitored for 15 to 30 minutes after getting the vaccine to check for any immediate adverse effects.

What are some common side-effects of the covid-19 vaccine?

  • Pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Mild fever
  • Nausea

What are rare side-effects of the covid-19 vaccine?


  • Heart inflammation (reported mainly in young men within 2 weeks of dose 2).
  • A severe allergic reaction to the vaccine.

Johnson & Johnson:

  • Blood clotting: the US Centers for Disease Control reports that among women between the ages of 18 and 49, it has affected 7 out of every 1 million who have been vaccinated, and is reported to occur within 4 to 28 days after vaccination.
  • A nerve disorder called Guillain-Barré syndrome: Yale Medicine reports that this has affected 100 people out of the 12.8 million who received the vaccine in the US.

In either case, you might develop hives or another type of skin rash, swelling, and respiratory symptoms.

What are the symptoms of a blood clot?

A blood clot that develops after vaccination is called a Vaccine Induced Thrombosis. It is an extremely rare condition, but local experts and treatments are available.

  • Severe headache that does not go away. It may occur with blurred vision, vomiting, weakness on one side of the body or difficulty speaking.
  • Severe abdominal pain that does not go away. It may be associated with vomiting.
  • A rash of tiny red spots might occur under the skin around the injection site.
  • Leg pain or swelling.
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath.

When to call the doctor

In most cases the discomfort you are feeling is normal. If the redness and swelling does not go down in 24 hours you should visit a doctor. If you see any of the abovementioned symptoms of a blood clot you should immediately seek medical help. Tell the doctor you have had the shot and take any medication you have been taking with you. A blood test will check if your platelets are low.

How long could symptoms or side effects of covid-19 vaccination last?

Usually 24 to 48 hours, and no more than a few days.

What does it mean if there are no side effects after getting vaccinated?

People generally believe that having side-effects means that the vaccine is taking effect. However, researchers at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore state that people should not interpret the symptoms that way. It simply means that your body is handling the vaccine well.

Should a person take the second dose if the first dose caused side effects?

You should get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get it.

Millions of lives are saved by vaccines every year, whether the COVID-19 vaccine or any of the longer standing vaccines such as polio and measles. Vaccines train and prepare the body’s natural defenses (the immune system) to recognize and fight off the pathogens they target. If the body is later exposed to those disease-causing germs, it is immediately ready to destroy them, thus preventing illness. The WHO’s unwavering opinion is that vaccines are the right route to follow as we fight COVID-19.


COVID-19 Vaccine Side-Effects FAQ

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