An employee gets vaccinated for COVID-19, then they have symptoms. Is it a reaction to the vaccine or a case of COVID-19?
Common side effects from the vaccine:
- include pain in the vaccinated arm, fever, chills, tiredness, headache, nausea and muscle pain
- are mild to moderate
- occur within the first 3 days of vaccination, with most occurring the day after receiving the shot
- get better within 1-2 days
- are more frequent following the second dose, and
- are more frequent in younger people (under age 55).
Cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell aren’t post-vaccination symptoms and could be signs of a COVID-19 infection.
Managing vaccination time
To minimize the effects of the post-vaccination period for employees and companies, the CDC suggests employers:
- encourage employees to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible and to consider scheduling their appointments 1-2 days before planned days off from work
- stagger vaccination appointments so a lot of employees aren’t receiving their shots at the same time, and
- offer flexible, nonpunitive sick leave options, such as paid leave, for employees with symptoms after vaccination.
For more CDC guidance on this topic, click here.