Common side effects you may experience following your COVID-19 vaccine

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) —If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and feel a little under the weather after receiving the shot, local health officials say it’s a sign your vaccine might be working.

After receiving your COVID-19 vaccine, a common side effect is a sore arm at the injection site, but some side effects aren’t that minor.

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Dr. Paul Kamitsuka, Wilmington Health Infectious Disease Physician and Chief Epidemiologist at New Hanover Regional Medical Center says 10-15% of the time more significant side effects leave people feeling sick.

“You may have fever, feel as though you’ve got a flu-like syndrome for a day or two, things of that sort and then very rarely, maybe 2 to 5 per million, you may have an allergic reaction,” said Dr. Paul Kamitsuka.

Kamitsuka says an allergic reaction is so rare, people are 50% more likely to experience an allergic reaction to penicillin than the COVID-19 vaccine.

Noting that any possible side effects you experience, are a sign your body is responding to the vaccine.

“The side effects occur, because when the immune system is responding to the vaccine, there are chemicals that are released by our own body that can make us feel bad potentially,” said Dr. Kamitsuka.

He also cautions people to expect to experience some side effects after receiving their vaccine.

“The one thing I would emphasize, when I got my vaccine I looked forward to having some side effects,” said Dr. Kamitsuka. “The side effects, what they reflect is that your immune system is actually responding to the vaccine. That’s what you want.”

For those who may experience an adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC and FDA are advising you to notify your health care provider, and report the reaction to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.