HomeCOVID-19Should You Be Worried About COVID Arm?

Should You Be Worried About COVID Arm?

Do not ignore your symptoms!

Find out what could be causing them

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Are you feeling persistent pain and heaviness in your arm after the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine? Well, you’re not alone. Many people have reported experiencing a reaction at the injection site on the arm. That is why experts have coined the term ‘COVID arm’ to describe it.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), redness and swelling can be an expected outcome of any vaccine. Similarly, the COVID arm, too, is a short-term reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine. It is specifically seen in people who are vaccinated with the Moderna mRNA-1273 but can be seen with any type of vaccine.

What Is COVID-19?

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is defined as an illness caused by a novel coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2). As is common knowledge, the outbreak of this highly infectious virus has created havoc worldwide.

It can trigger a respiratory tract infection including, severe respiratory symptoms, cough, fever, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. It can cause acute respiratory syndrome, pneumonia, kidney failure, and even death in more severe cases.

What Happens in the COVID Arm?

Looking at the rapid spread of COVID-19, medical researchers across the globe have geared up to come up with the different types of  COVID-19 vaccine such as Moderna, Covisheild ,Sputnik, Covaxin,Novovax etc .

If you have COVID arm, you will notice a red rash at the injection spot .  It can be painful and itchy. The side effects of most vaccines typically appear in the next two days. But COVID arm may occur 5-9 days after the first dose.

It spreads over a 5-6 inches diameter and always emerges on the arm on which you have taken the shot. The seriousness of the rash differs from person to person. The good news is that it is temporary and goes away in 24 hours to one week.

Why Does it Happen?

Healthcare experts are calling it delayed cutaneous hypersensitivity, which indicates a late reaction on your skin. It is your body’s defense mechanism that is responding to the vaccine. By creating antibodies, a part of your immune system is fighting to remove the virus.

At the same time, your inborn immune cells are looking at the protein released by the vaccine as a foreign object and fighting against it. This fight leads to the COVID arm.

Now that you know the reason, you mustn’t feel burdened with what you hear about the reactions to vaccines.

Why Is it Essential to Get Vaccinated for COVID-19?

However, with the hue and cry going about the vaccination, it can be overwhelming for you to decide whether to go for the vaccine or not.

There are several reasons why you must:

  • Not all COVID-19 patients need to be hospitalized. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need the vaccine. This is important because the disease can badly damage your vital organs like the heart, lungs, and brain. Not just this, you may recover from the virus, but it can leave you suffering from long-term health issues.  The vaccine helps prevent severe disease and complications .
  • A vaccine is also necessary to protect the people around you. Even if the virus does not make you ill, you could still pass it on to someone around you, who might have to fight a severe battle against the disease.
  • There is strong evidence that if you are fully vaccinated:
  • You may still get infected, but you’re very likely to be asymptomatic.
  • You are less likely to pass the infection to others.
  • Thanks to the pandemic, you’ve been indoors all this while. Once you are fully vaccinated, you can meet other people too who are vaccinated.
  • The vaccine creates antibodies  and keeps you safeguarded against COVID-19.
  • By getting vaccinated, you are helping in the fight to stop the pandemic.

How to Soothe the COVID Arm?

COVID arm usually goes away in a few days. But in the meantime, some measures can help you find some respite. They include:

  • Use a cold compress to get relief from the inflammation.
  • Take a painkiller for the pain and soreness but avoid taking any antibiotics without consulting your doctor.
  • You can also apply a soothing cream such as calamine .
  • Take ample rest.

Apart from the issues related to the COVID arm, if you notice any other problems like breathing difficulty, body ache, fatigue, or fever, you must immediately contact your doctor. Suffering from COVID arm after getting inoculated should not dissuade you from getting the second dose.


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We must consider ourselves lucky that we live in an era where technology is so robust that vaccines can be developed in record time. Only after rigorous clinical trials and several stages of testing has this vaccine been possible. So, do not panic if you experience a minor rash.

You must do your part by wearing masks, washing hands, avoiding crowded places, maintaining social distance, and getting vaccinated.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Do I need the vaccine if I’ve already had COVID-19?

There is no assurance about how long your natural immunity can keep you safe from this virus. However, experts strongly recommend that you get vaccinated for complete protection. You should have it after a few weeks as recommended by your doctor.

  1. How do I keep myself relaxed in this situation?

Keep yourself engaged – either in your work, or in your hobbies, or reaching out to your friends and family. You can also try meditation. Do not fall for the numerous myths and rumors floating around about the vaccine. If you feel any inkling of doubt, discuss it with a healthcare expert.

  1. I am currently suffering from COVID-19. Can I get vaccinated?

No, you need to wait till all the symptoms subside. You need to get clearance from your doctor – whether you have symptoms or even if you are asymptomatic.

  1.  Is COVID arm harmful if I am pregnant?

Even if you experience any side effects, including COVID arm, you can consult your doctor, who can prescribe specific medications to prevent any harm to your baby.

  1. What if I get infected after my first dose of the vaccine?

If you are found COVID positive after the first dose, you will not be administered the second dose till you are completely cured of the disease.

Verified By Apollo Pulmonologist

The content is verified and reviewd by experienced practicing Pulmonologist to ensure that the information provided is current, accurate and above all, patient-focused

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