Top of the page
Many people have no side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine. If you do have side effects, they tend to be mild and go away in a few days. Side effects may include:
Call Health Link at 811 to report any serious or unusual side effects. It’s rare to have a serious side effect.
Between 4 and 28 days after getting the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine, there have been very rare reports of blood clots, low levels of platelets (these help your blood to clot), and bleeding.
If you have any of the following symptoms within 42 days of being immunized, get medical help right away:
There have also been very rare reports of capillary leak syndrome (CLS) within the first few days after getting the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine. CLS is a serious condition that causes sudden swelling of the arms and legs, sudden weight gain, and low blood pressure causing you to feel faint. Get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms.
Within 7 days after getting either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna vaccine, there have been very rare reports of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the lining around the heart). This inflammation can cause shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, or a very fast or abnormal heart rate. Get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms.
If you have side effects that are the same as COVID-19 symptoms, you must stay home and away from others (isolate), even if you think the side effects are from the vaccine.
If you only have redness, swelling, or soreness where you had the needle, you don’t need to stay home and away from others.
To help with soreness and swelling:
If you have a fever, wear fewer layers of clothes and drink more fluids. There is medicine to help with a fever or pain. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you aren’t sure what medicine or dose to take. Follow the directions on the package. Children under the age of 18 years should not take aspirin because it can cause serious health problems.
Some people with health problems, such as a weak immune system, must call their doctor if they get a fever. If you were told to do this, call your doctor even if you think the fever is from the vaccine.
At this time, there is not enough information to know how long protection lasts or if you’ll need booster doses. It’s still important to follow the recommended public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, even if you’ve had the vaccine. Visit ahs.ca/covid for the most up-to-date recommendations.
To get an electronic copy of the immunizations you’ve had in Alberta, register for a MyHealth Records account at MyHealth.Alberta.ca/myhealthrecords.
To see this information online and learn more, visit MyHealth.Alberta.ca/health/pages/conditions.aspx?Hwid=custom.ab_imm_covid19vaccine_ac.
For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information call Health Link at 811.
Current as of: September 16, 2021
Author: Provincial Immunization Program, Alberta Health Services
Care instructions may be adapted by your healthcare provider. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, talk with your doctor or appropriate healthcare provider.