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What to expect in the next few days after receiving the vaccine:

  • Similar to medications and other vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine may cause side effects although not everyone will experience these. Most side effects are minor and do not last very long. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine side effects.
  • Serious side effects after receiving the vaccine are rare. However, should you develop any of the following adverse reactions within three days of receiving the vaccine, seek medical attention right away or call 911 if you are severely unwell:
    • Hives
    • Swelling of the face or mouth
    • Trouble breathing
    • Very pale colour and serious drowsiness
    • High fever (over 40°C) or convulsions or seizures
    • Other serious symptoms (e.g., “pins and needles” or numbness).

After accessing care, your healthcare provider will inform the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit of any serious side effects after vaccination.

  • The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is associated with a very rare side effect known as Vaccine-Induced Prothrombotic Immune Thrombocytopenia (VIPIT). If you develop any of the following symptoms after receiving the vaccine, please seek immediate medical attention:
    • Shortness of breath
    • Pain in chest
    • Swelling or coldness in an arm or leg
    • Persistent abdominal pain
    • Severe or worsening headaches or blurred vision
    • Multiple small bruises, red or purple spots or blood blisters under the skin.
  • If you are concerned about any reactions you experience after receiving the vaccine, contact your healthcare provider. When you report an adverse reaction to your healthcare provider, you will be asked some questions about your health and the reaction you have experienced. Reports of adverse reactions following immunization are sent to Public Health Ontario and to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Learn more about adverse events.
  • If you still need to receive your second dose, tell the person providing the second dose about any side effects you experienced.

Things to remember after you receive the vaccine:

  • Continue to follow the public health recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which includes wearing a mask, staying at least 2 metres from others and limiting/avoiding contact with others outside your household.
  • Do not receive any other vaccines (except for your second COVID-19 vaccine) until you have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and at least 28 days have passed after the second dose (unless considered necessary by your healthcare provider).
  • If you are planning to become pregnant, you should speak to your primary care provider.
  • Ensure you attend your appointment for your second dose. You must get the same vaccine for your second dose.
    • It is very important that you receive the second dose, even if you experience mild side effects after the first dose, in order to get the best protection against COVID-19.
  • Keep your printed COVID-19 Immunization receipt from your appointment in a safe place. Bring the COVID Immunization receipt (and other immunization record if you wish) with you for your second dose of vaccine.

How to prepare for and what to expect the day of your COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

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Last modified: 
Friday, April 16, 2021 - 12:03pm