Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson: COVID Vaccine Side Effects

Johnson & Johnson is topping headlines Tuesday, but recipients of all three approved vaccines have reported various side effects

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As more people get vaccinated, more people are also starting to report side effects from the three approved COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

But how do the side effects differ?



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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are several common side effects.

On the arm where you got the shot:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling

Throughout the rest of your body:

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

Moderna reports that more people experience fatigue and headaches than those who have received the Pfizer vaccine.

Johnson & Johnson had reported the least amount of side effects, but on Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration and the CDC issued a statement recommending a pause in the use of the vaccine "out of an abundance of caution" after six women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed a rare blood clotting disorder and one died.

Doctors say side effects can indicate that the vaccine is working and the body is forming a robust immune response.

Vaccines that are more effective have more side effects because they work so well.

We take a hard look at the facts surrounding federal health officials' recommendation that Johnson & Johnson vaccines be paused after six women developed a rare blood clot, with one dying. Our team explains how safe the vaccine is, addresses vaccine hesitancy and looks at the impact on underserved communities, while a top doctor gives expert analysis.

Young people and women often experience more side effects than older adults and men.

Doctors say every person's response is different, and even if you don't experience many side effects, you're making antibodies which protect against the virus.

The CDC recommends seeking medical attention if you experience persistent redness or tenderness at the injection site, if your side effects don't seem to be going away after a few days or if you experience a severe allergic reaction.

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