Possible Side Effects after Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccination will protect you from the COVID-19 virus. As with any vaccine, you may experience adverse effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Common adverse effects include:

• tenderness, pain, warmth, redness, itching or swelling on the arm where you got the injection

• Generally feeling unwell

• Feeling tired (fatigue)

• Chills or feeling feverish

• Headache

• Joint pain or muscle ache

These are signs that your body is building protection against COVID-19.

What to do if you experience these adverse effects after vaccination

These adverse effects will usually go away on their own within one to three days. If these do not go away after a few days or seem to be getting worse, consult a healthcare professional.

If you have pain at the injection site or fever, headaches or body aches after vaccination, you can choose to take acetaminophen or ibuprofen. These will help reduce the above symptoms. If there is swelling at the injection site, you can also use a cold compress.

What to do if you think you’re having a severe reaction to the vaccine

There is a rare chance that the COVID-19 could cause a severe reaction. You should go to your nearest hospital if you experience severe or unusual symptoms such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, swelling of the face, and tightening of the throat.

Things to remember after getting vaccinated:

Even if the vaccine protects from symptomatic and moderate to severe forms of COVID-19, you should still continue to protect yourself and your family by practicing the BIDA Behaviors:

• Wearing of Mask and Face Shield

• Wash/Sanitize Hands

• Avoid Crowded Places

• Ensure good ventilation at home or place of work

• Maintain 1 Meter Social Distancing

Check the FAQs: Adverse Events Following Immunization

What is AEFI?

An Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) is any of the following that may arise after vaccination:
unfavourable or unintended sign and/or  symptom;
abnormal laboratory finding; or
disease that may arise after immunization.

An AEFI may not necessarily be caused by the vaccine.

What will the government do if a vaccinee experiences AEFI?

AEFI reports will be assessed and forwarded to their respective epidemiology surveillance units.

For serious AEFIs, immediate investigation will be conducted to determine if it was caused by the vaccine.

What offices are responsible for monitoring Adverse Events Following Immunization?

  • DOH Epidemiology Bureau
  • Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • National Adverse Events Following Immunization Committee (NAEFIC)
  • Regional Adverse Events Following Immunization Committee (RAEFIC)

If a cluster* of AEFIs occur, will the vaccination be paused?

Epidemiology and Surveillance Units will be notified immediately to investigate the reported clustering of AEFIs. The RAEFIC/NAEFIC will ultimately issue a recommendation whether or not to pause the vaccination.

*two or more AEFI cases of a similar effect occur in the same place, within the same time frame, or after the use of the same vaccine

Is there a procedure for vaccinees who develop symptoms after vaccination?

Vaccinees who develop AEFI will be referred to appropriate health facilities.

Vaccination sites should be linked to a licensed health facility, which will ensure the readiness of vaccination sites, especially regarding the management of AEFIs.

How are we going to monitor those who have been vaccinated?

The Philippine FDA and the DOH will monitor cases of AEFI.
A nationwide data management system will be established to monitor progress of vaccination activities, vaccine safety, and effectiveness.

How long will surveillance and monitoring of AEFIs be done?

Surveillance and monitoring of AEFIs shall be done for one year post-vaccination.

Who will be liable for and shoulder expenses related to AEFI?

The government will have an indemnification fund for all those who will experience adverse events following immunization. In cases of AEFIs needing hospitalization, costs for management of the adverse events may be claimed through existing PhilHealth case rates.

PhilHealth coverage of hospitalization shall be in accordance with the rules and regulations of the National Health Insurance Program.