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Common Side Effects Of India-Approved COVID-19 Vaccines, And Other Details

India has made available three COVID-19 vaccines: Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik V for emergency use in the country. As far as the efficacy of these vaccines is concerned, they are promising enough to lower the mortality rate in India due to coronavirus infection and are also considered safe and effective.

These three vaccines have some post-vaccine symptoms, which are actually normal signs saying that the body is building the required protection against the virus. [1]

Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik, all have two doses and after each dose, the possible symptoms may vary in different individuals; some may face no symptom after the first dose but some after the second or vice-versa.

Also, these side effects are usually mild and may go away in a day or two, except for a few groups of people with comorbidities who may observe some moderate to severe side effects and for longer periods.

In this article, we will discuss some of the common side effects of India-approved COVID-19 vaccines. These side effects are those which are observed to date by medical experts. If and when any new side effects are reported, we will keep you informed about them too. Take a look.


Common Side Effects Of Covaxin

Some of the common side effects of covaxin may include: [2]

  • Pain at injection site
  • Swelling at injection site
  • Headache
  • Tremor
  • Redness or itching at an injection site [3]
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Cold
  • Cough
  • Malaise
  • Generalised rash
  • Body pain
  • Myalgia
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness-giddiness
  • Sweating
  • Anorexia or reduced appetite [4]
  • Diarrhoea
  • Rare side effect with no supporting research


Common Side Effects Of Covishield

Some of the common side effects of Covishield vaccine include:

  • Headache
  • Tenderness at injection site
  • Pain and swelling at injection site
  • Myalgia, pain in the muscles or group of muscles.
  • Fatigue [5]
  • Malaise, a general feeling of discomfort or uneasiness
  • Pyrexia, raised body temperature or fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Arthralgia, joint pain
  • Rare side effect with no supporting research

    • Thromboembolic or blood clots. [6]
    • Demyelinating disorders which are damage to the myelin sheath, a protective covering that surrounds nerve fibres in your brain, spinal cord and optic nerves and any damage to them may result in slow nerve impulses and other neurological problems.
    • Note: No other Covishield side effects have been reported to date by the MOHFW or other published studies.


Common Side Effects Of Sputnik V

The rollout of sputnik V began on 14 May Friday in India. As it's been only a few days after the arrival of the vaccine, no news of any side effects have been reported yet among people in India.

The vaccine may have some common side effects such as fever, pain at the injection site, fatigue and headache, but as per a Lancet study published in February 2021, no serious adverse effects are noted yet. [7]


Who Are Not Advised To Take These Vaccines?

Due to the lack of sufficient studies on the administration of Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik V on a certain group of people, they are not advised to take these three vaccines. Such people include:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • People on blood thinners or coagulants.
  • People with severe allergies, especially with pharmaceutical products or injections.
  • People who have had a serious allergic reaction with the first dose.
  • People with compromised immune systems like HIV.
  • People with active COVID-19 infection, who are hospitalised due to the infection or waiting for test results.
  • People who have been given plasma therapy.
  • What To Do Post Vaccination?

    • If you observe mild COVID-19 vaccine side effects such as fever or pain, take over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, antihistamines or aspirin after consulting a medical expert.
    • If you observe pain, redness or swelling at an injection site, you can perform ice therapy or apply a cold cloth at the site to reduce these symptoms.
    • Exercise the arm to reduce discomfort or pain.
    • Consume enough water to reduce fever, weakness or fatigue.
    • Get enough sleep.
    • If the symptoms do not go away in more than 2-3 days, consult a medical expert.

Other Things To Remember

  • Get the second dose on time even if you have certain mild side effects from the first dose or until your doctor says otherwise.
  • Make sure that the second dose is the same as the first dose vaccine. Meaning, don't take the first dose of Covaxin and the second dose of Covishield or vice-versa.
  • Some side effects after the second shot may be more intense compared to the first dose.
  • Even if you are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19, take necessary precautions like wearing a mask while going out and sanitising hands at intervals.
  • To Conclude

    Side effects are a part of the vaccination process and an indication that the body is getting ready to fight the infection. Get vaccinated at your nearest centre soon and take a step forward in bringing an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Common FAQs

    1. What are the common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

    The side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine may differ for individuals depending on their immune system, age, pre-existing conditions and other factors. Some of the common side effects include fever, headache, fatigue, nausea and pain at the injection site.

    2. Can you get COVID-19 after being vaccinated?

    The chances of getting COVID-19 after being vaccinated is very rare, as per researchers around the world. In case you get COVID-19 after the vaccination, it could be because you are either exposed to the virus just a few days earlier or later or at a centre of vaccination.

    3. Can Covid vaccine affect fertility?

    No, according to MOHFW, COVID-19 vaccines which are approved in India have not shown any such incidence in which they have affected the fertility of a vaccinated person.

    4. Can I drink alcohol after Covid vaccine?

    There is no such prohibition mentioned on drinking alcohol after the COVID-19 vaccine. However, experts suggest that as our body starts preparing itself for the pathogen after the vaccination, one should not consider having alcohol as it is known to affect immunity and may interact with the vaccine components.

    5. How many days after Covid recovery can I take the vaccine?

    People with active COVID-19 infection or waiting for test results are, first of all, not suggested for vaccination. If you are recovering from the infection, consider taking the vaccine two weeks after the total disappearance of the symptoms.

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