If I Have No COVID Vaccine Side Effects, Is the Vaccine Still Effective? A Doctor Answers

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With COVID vaccines rolling out and more people receiving their first and second doses, some people are experiencing side effects, while others aren’t. Side effects for the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines include injection site reactions (redness or tenderness), fatigue, headaches, chills, and a smaller number of people will have joint pain, fever, swollen lymph nodes. A more serious but rare side effect is Bell’s palsy. What if you don’t have any side effects from the first or second dose of the COVID vaccine? Is it still effective?

Shanthi Kappagoda, MD, and infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care told POPSUGAR that while experiencing these side effects is an indication that the vaccine is working, and many people will experience side effects more often after the second dose, some people may not have any side effects. Dr. Kappagoda said that overall, about 73 percent of people who received the vaccine in the clinical trial had no side effects when asked about them.

If you have no side effects, it does not mean that the vaccine did not work, Kappagoda said. There is no correlation between how you react to a vaccine and how resilient you are to infections. “Just as people look different on the outside, there is also a lot of variety in our immune systems and how we respond to vaccines and infections,” explained Dr. Kappagoda.

If you haven’t yet received your vaccine, talk to your doctor about getting it when your time comes if you meet the criteria for the vaccine in your state and don’t have a history of allergic reactions to vaccines. Try not to worry about the possible side effects. Hopefully they won’t last long or be too uncomfortable (or you won’t have any at all), and knowing you’ll be protected against a serious case of COVID-19 will be worth it.

POPSUGAR aims to give you the most accurate and up-to-date information about the coronavirus, but details and recommendations about this pandemic may have changed since publication. For the latest information on COVID-19, please check out resources from the WHO, CDC, and local public health departments.

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