Be aware of your vaccine symptoms

It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of your Covid-19 vaccine before taking any further action such as contacting NHS 111.

COVID-19 vaccine side effects

Most side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:

  • a sore arm where the needle went in
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy
  • feeling or being sick

You can take painkillers, such as paracetamol, if you need to.

You may get a high temperature or feel hot or shivery 1 or 2 days after having your vaccination.

But if you have a high temperature that lasts longer than 2 days, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste you may have coronavirus. Stay at home and get a test.

If your symptoms get worse or you are worried, call 111.

You can find out more on the NHS national website.


Headache is a very common side effect of any vaccine and  up to 50% of people might experience a headache post vaccination; the difference with headaches related to the very rare side effect of inappropriate clotting is that these start four days and up to four weeks post vaccination, are persistent and may be associated with other symptoms such as those below. 

Call 111 immediately if you get any of these symptoms starting from around four days to four weeks after being vaccinated:

  • a severe headache that is not relieved with painkillers or is getting worse
  • a headache that feels worse when you lie down or bend over
  • a headache that's unusual for you and occurs with blurred vision, feeling or being sick, problems speaking, weakness, drowsiness or seizures (fits)
  • a rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin
  • shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal (tummy) pain