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COVID vaccine side effects to expect if you’re a young adult

With more than 47% of U.S. adults already immunized against COVID, reports of not-so-pleasant side effects from the vaccine keep popping up left and right. And many reports suggest those side effects are hitting people in their 20s and 30s especially hard. 

Why? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many common side effects of the COVID vaccine are normal signs that your body is building protection against the virus. Young people have more robust immune systems and stronger immune responses than older adults, Insider reports. That more robust immune response can trigger side effects. 

So, if you’re part of the under-40 crowd and still waiting to get vaccinated, you might want to brace yourself. 

Side effects from the COVID vaccine often include:

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

These side effects may be more intense a day or two after your second dose (if getting the Moderna or Pfizer shot). They may also affect your ability to work, go to school, or do other daily activities for a few days. If you can, rest up after getting your shot. 

When to get help

Side effects usually go away in a few days. However, the COVID vaccine may cause more severe effects in some people. 

Contact your doctor if:

  • The redness or tenderness where you got the shot gets worse after 24 hours
  • Your side effects are worrying you or don’t resolve after a few days

Call 911 if you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). 

For more information about COVID vaccine side effects, check out this information from the CDC.  

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