October 1, 2021
Temporary side effects, including headache, fatigue and fever, are signs the immune systems is revving up – and a common and normal response to vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines. Here’s what’s happening: The immune system has two main arms, and the first kicks in as soon as the body detects a foreign intruder. White blood cells swarm to the site, prompting inflammation that’s responsible for chills, soreness, fatigue and other side effects. This rapid-response step of your immune system tends to wane with age, one reason younger people report side effects more often than older adults. Vaccines also set in motion the second part of your immune system, which will provide the real protection from the virus by producing antibodies. Not all side effects are routine, but after hundreds of millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered around the world – and intense safety monitoring – few serious risks have been identified. People also occasionally have allergic reactions to vaccines. That’s why you’re asked to remain for about 15 minutes after getting any type of COVID-19 vaccine, to ensure that a reaction can be promptly treated.
(Source: The Associated Press)