Why does my arm hurt after the vaccine? Side effects of Covid booster explained - and how to ease pain

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If you’ve recently had a Covid vaccine, you may have experienced a few side effects

The Covid vaccine may cause a few side effects which generally last a couple of days and can be eased with painkillers.

But why might your arm hurt after receiving the vaccine and how can you ease the pain?

Here’s what you need to know.

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Why does my arm hurt after the vaccine?

If you’ve recently had your first or second Covid jab, or your third jab or booster, you may have noticed a few side effects, including a sore arm.

The vaccine can sometimes cause pain or tenderness at the site of injection, but this should ease within a week.

According to the NHS website, the Covid-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK can cause some side effects, but not everyone gets them.

Any side effects are usually mild and should not last longer than a week, such as:

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  • a sore arm from the injection
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy
  • feeling or being sick

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

How can I ease any side effects from the vaccine?

If you are experiencing side effects from the vaccine, including a sore arm, you can take painkillers such as paracetamol if you need to.

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

If you have a high temperature that lasts longer than two days, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, you may have Covid. You should stay at home and get a test.

You cannot catch Covid-19 from the vaccine, but you may have caught it just before or after your vaccination.

What ingredients are in the vaccines?

The Covid vaccines do not contain egg or animal products.

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The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine contains a tiny amount of alcohol, but this is less than in some everyday foods like bread.

How are Covid vaccines developed, tested and approved?

Covid vaccines have to go through several stages of clinical trials before they can be approved for use.

The approved Covid vaccines have been tested on thousands of people in the UK and around the world, including:

  • people from different ethnic backgrounds
  • people aged between 18 and 84
  • children and young people aged between 12 and 17
  • people with different health conditions

All vaccines used in the UK must be approved by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), who make sure the vaccines meet strict international standards for safety, quality and effectiveness.

Once a vaccine is approved, it’s closely monitored to continue to make sure it is safe and effective.

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