Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 Vaccines

AUGUST 16, 2021

Questions mainly refer to Pfizer Biotech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccines.

Can pregnant or breastfeeding women get vaccines?

Research shows that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding can safely take mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna vaccines).

Can I get another mRNA vaccine for my 2nd dose?

Usually, the same vaccine is given for 2nd dose but another mRNA vaccine can be given, as they work in the same way.

If someone has AstraZeneca / COVISHIELD, can he take the mRNA vaccine for 2nd dose?

Yes, it can be given. Research is ongoing to find out whether immunity is produced if different types of vaccines are taken.

What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Side effects are usually mild and go away in a few days. Side effects may include:

  • Redness, warmth, swelling, bruising, itching, or feeling sore at the injection site.
  • Feeling tired and unwell
  • headache
  • Fever or chills
  • Body aches and joints pain
  • Nausea (feeling of throwing up), vomiting or diarrhea (loose stools)
  • Cough

It is important to stay at the clinic for 15 minutes after you had the vaccine. Some people may have a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

Rare event after getting the AstraZeneca / COVISHIELD vaccine

There have been very rare reports of blood clots, low levels of platelets, and bleeding. These events happened 4-28 days after getting the AstraZeneca vaccine.

  • 1 in 55,000 after the first dose
  • 1 in 600,000 after the second dose

If you have any of the following symptoms within 42 days of being immunized, get medical help right away.

  • Trouble talking or moving part of your body
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Severe swelling, pain, or a color change in your arm or leg
  • A severe headache that does not go away
  • Blurred vision
  • Seizures

Capillary leak syndrome (CLS) has been reported rarely within the first few days of getting the AstraZeneca vaccine. In some reported cases the person had a history of CLS. CLS is a serious condition that causes fluid to leak out from small blood vessels. This causes sudden swelling of the arms and legs, sudden weight gain, and low blood pressure causing to feel faint. CLS can be fatal. Get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms. Research is still going on to find out about the risk of CLS and clotting problems after getting this vaccine.

How can I manage the side effects?

  • To help with soreness and swelling, put a cool, wet cloth over the site of the injection
  • Take pain or fever-lowering medicine. Follow the directions on the package. check with your doctor or pharmacist if you’re not sure what medicine or dose to take.
  • Children under the age of 18 years should not take aspirin because it can cause serious health problems.
  • People with weak immune systems must contact their doctor if they get a fever. If you have been told to do this call your doctor even if you think the fever is from the vaccine.

Who should not get the vaccine?

You may not be able to get the vaccine if you:

  • Have an allergy to any part of the vaccine.
  • Had a severe (serious) or unusual side effect after this vaccine or one like it.
  • Are under the age of eleven.
  • Have had another vaccine in the last two weeks.

Be sure to talk to your doctor if you:

  • Have a weak immune system (Because of medicine or health problems)
  • Have an autoimmune disorder (Like rheumatoid arthritis or Lupus
  • Have had a stem cell or organ transplant.
  • Have a history of CLS (Capillary Leak Syndrome)
  • Have a history of Myocarditis or Pericarditis after receiving a dose of the vaccine.

Rare events after getting either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna vaccine?

There have been very rare reports of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (Inflammation of the lining around the heart) within seven days of either taking the BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. This inflammation can cause shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, or a very fast or abnormal heart rate). Get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms.

These events were reported mostly after the second dose and in young adults and adolescents. Most cases were mild and got better with treatment. Research is still going on to find out more about the risk of these events after getting an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

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