What you may feel: Pain at the injection site, a headache and feeling tired and fatigued. These are the most commonly reported side effects.
What can help: Place a cold, wet cloth, or ice pack on the injection site for a short time. Do not rub or massage the injection site.
When this could start: Within 6 to 24 hours
What you may feel: Muscle aches, feeling generally unwell, chills, fever, joint pain and nausea may also occur.
What can help: Rest and drink plenty of fluids. Paracetamol or ibuprofen can be taken, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Seek advice from your health professional if your symptoms worsen.
When this could start: Within 6 to 48 hours
Like all medicines, the vaccine may cause side effects in some people. This is the body’s normal response and shows the vaccine is working.
Side effects are usually mild, don’t last long and won’t stop you from having the second dose or going about your daily life.
Side effects may be more common after your second dose of the vaccine.
Serious allergic reactions can occur but are extremely rare. New Zealand vaccinators are trained to manage these. Some side effects may temporarily affect the ability to drive or use machinery. In the unlikely event this happens, please discuss it with your employer.
If you experience symptoms that could be COVID-19 related, such as new continuous cough, a high temperature/fever, or a loss of or change in your normal sense of taste or smell, stay home and get a COVID-19 test.
If you have an unexpected reaction to your COVID-19 vaccination, your vaccinator or health professional should report it to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM).
You can also report any unexpected reactions by using their online reporting form on the CARM website: otago.ac.nz/carm.
If you are unsure about your symptoms or they get worse, talk to your GP or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
If you have an immediate concern about your safety, call 111 and make sure you tell them you’ve had a COVID-19 vaccination so that they can assess you properly.
Vaccines help protect people of all ages against other infectious diseases too, like measles and flu.
Check that you and your whānau are up to date with your vaccinations by talking with your health provider. Visit health.govt.nz/immunisation for more information.
You need to wait at least two weeks after your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before getting any other vaccines.