What to Expect After You Get a COVID Vaccine

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You’re gonna have an interesting couple of days.

A few days ago, I experienced what may have been one of my biggest strokes of good fortune in recent memory and successfully secured my first shot of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Call your local pharmacy if you haven’t yet, they have the most up-to-date information. Anyway, I went in in the morning, got my shot, and aside from a sore arm, I felt great all day. It was at night that things started to get a little weird.


With as much as the vaccines have been publicized, it’s also well-documented at this point that they have their own little quirks. Minor side effects after a major viral vaccination are a completely normal part of the process, but it is good to have knowledge ahead of time of what exactly you’re going to be in for. Obviously, the effects are gonna be a little different for everyone, but I can at least tell you what it was like for me.

The night after I got my shot, I woke up at about 3 AM to my body playing a little game of what I like to call “Affliction Roulette.” For about 15 minutes, it felt like my body was rapidly cycling through every possible affliction in the book, each lasting about 30 seconds to a minute. I’m talking aches, chills, hots, nausea, disorientation, restlessness, exhaustion, and probably a few others my sleep-deprived mind wasn’t entirely cognizant of. Thankfully, as I said, it didn’t last that long, and afterwards, I feel back asleep pretty quickly.

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The next couple of days was when I experienced the more normal side effects associated with the vaccines, including minor exhaustion, feeling slightly warm (but not a full-on fever), some minor aches, and general malaise. Again, this is all a normal part of the vaccination process. Your body’s immune system needs a couple of days to run some tests on the pathogen sample and determine the best way to fight it off, so you’re gonna feel a bit off during that time. Take it easy and let it run its course, and when it’s through, you should be completely back to normal, and with a newly acquired immunity against the coronavirus. Or at least half an immunity in the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines’ cases, but that’ll be remedied when I get my second shot next month. Should be fun.