Side effects

You may experience some side effects following vaccination. Most side effects last no more than a couple of days and you will recover without any problems.

Common side effects

Fever or chills Mild fever and chills
Pain at injection site Pain, redness and/or swelling where you received the needle
Headache Headache
Joint pain Joint pain
Muscle pain Muscle pain
Feeling tired Tiredness
Feeling unwell Felling unwell
Nausea Nausea

Some people will experience more significant flu-like symptoms from the vaccine compared to other common vaccinations, and may need time away from normal activities.

  • For the Pfizer (COMIRNATY) vaccine, these symptoms are more common after the second dose.
  • For the AstraZeneca vaccine, these symptoms are more common after the first dose.

Serious reactions

Serious reactions such as allergic reactions are extremely rare. They usually occur within 15 minutes of receiving a vaccine. After you receive your vaccine, you should wait this amount of time before you leave to ensure your safety in case a reaction occurs.

Use the COVID-19 vaccine side effects symptom checker if you have concerns about any symptoms after your vaccine. The checker is also available through the National Coronavirus Helpline, 1800 020 080, 24 hours a day.

The COVID-19 vaccine side effects symptom checker is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a medical professional for serious symptoms or emergencies.

For specific advice about side effects from different doses of vaccines, ask your doctor or health care professional.

See your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible or go directly to a hospital if:

  • you have a reaction that you consider severe or unexpected
  • you are concerned about your condition after vaccination.

Signs of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) severe or persistent headaches, blurred vision, shortness of breath, chest pain, persistent abdominal pain, leg swelling, tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the site of injectionSeek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • neurological symptoms, including severe and persistent headaches or blurred vision
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • persistent abdominal (belly) pain
  • swelling in your leg
  • tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the site of injection.

TTS (rare AstraZeneca side effect) explained

Hear Dr Krispin Hajkowicz, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital's Director of Infectious Diseases, answer your questions about the extremely rare blood clots caused by the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) is an extremely rare and new type of blood clot where patients present with both a blood clot (thrombosis) and low platelet count (thrombocytopenia). TTS is serious, rare and treatable when detected early.

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Reporting symptoms

If you or your health care provider think a COVID-19 vaccine has caused a side effect, we encourage you to report it. Reporting suspected side effects helps us to maintain and improve the safety of vaccines. Every report is valuable and adds to safety monitoring.

Reporting suspected side effects is easy.

You can discuss any symptoms with your healthcare provider and they will report to the Therapeutic Goods Administration on your behalf, or you can report directly to the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Get advice about vaccine symptoms and report through the NPS MedicineWise Adverse Medicine Events (AME) Line on 1300 134 237, 7 days a week 8am-8pm AEST/AEDT.

You can report to the TGA using their online form.

The TGA publishes adverse effects reports weekly.