Painful arm after COVID-19 vaccination

Painful arm after COVID-19 vaccination

The most common adverse vaccine reactions (NOP) include redness, pain and swelling at the site of vaccine administration. This applies to preparations that immunize against various diseases. On average, more than one in ten people complain of these complaints. This is also the case with vaccination against COVID-19. What are the most common NOPs and how to deal with them?

Vaccine adverse reactions, or NOPs for short, are all health disorders resulting directly from the administration of a vaccine that occur up to four weeks after injection. The incidence of NOPs depends on the type of preparation used for vaccination. Among the adverse reactions reported are mainly fever, fatigue, headache and pain and redness at the injection site. How many patients experience shoulder pain after COVID-19 vaccination?

Frequency of NOPs

As statistics show, the most common NOPs after administration of the coronavirus vaccine – we’re talking about the formulation produced by Pfizer, as well as Moderna and AstraZeneca – are pain and swelling at the injection site, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, chills, fever and joint pain. These occur in more than one patient in ten vaccinated. Less common, one in ten cases, is redness on the arm, a rash or hives. One in a hundred vaccinated reported experiencing itching at the injection site, pain in the extremities, general malaise and problems with insomnia.

Importantly, adverse vaccine reactions can persist for up to several days. Most of them, the statistics show, are mild and local in nature. Generalized NOPs occurred more often after the second than after the first dose of the vaccine.

Note, it is recommended to stay at the medical center or vaccination center for at least 15 minutes after vaccination. During this time, there is the greatest risk of anaphylactic shock, although it is extremely rare.

Painful arm after vaccination – how to cope?

Why can the arm after vaccination against COVID-19 hurt? There are actually two causes. First, the pain occurs as a result of damage to the muscle tissue by the needle, as a small inflammation forms there. Second, it can be the result of an immune response, that is, the production of an immune response involving B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes and macrophages.

Can pain at the injection site be alleviated with home remedies? Yes – it is recommended to take painkillers with ibuprofen or paracetamol, use cold compresses to reduce inflammation, or soda compresses. The latter are made by mixing half a cup of lukewarm water with a teaspoon of baking soda. A gauze pad is soaked in such a solution and applied to the site of the injection. Importantly, the arm should not be relieved – making movements, including stretching is very important, as it accelerates the rate of blood flow and minimizes pain.

Whar i Covid arm?

In some patients, an adverse post-vaccination reaction is the so-called “covid arm,” or delayed skin hypersensitivity. “Covid arm” is a large – several centimeters in diameter – red lesion, often itchy and painful to the touch located around the injection site. This reaction does not appear until five or, at most, nine days after the vaccine is administered.

It is important to remember that this type of NOP is not dangerous and does not affect the possibility of receiving another dose of the product. The lesion should disappear after a maximum of seven days, although in some patients it ceased to be visible after just 24 hours.

The “covid arm” can be dealt with by applying cold compresses and, if the itching sensation is very intense, also by taking antihistamines. If the redness does not subside after a week, consult a doctor to assess the patient’s condition.


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