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UNC Health is closely monitoring the situation regarding the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. As a precaution, we will follow the FDA’s recommendation and pause vaccinations using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until federal authorities are able to review data and provide further guidance. Patients who were scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at UNC Health vaccination clinics today will be offered one of the other vaccines where possible or rescheduled as necessary. Severe reactions are rare. Click here for information on when to seek medical care.

Most people do not experience serious side effects from COVID-19 vaccines.

The most common side effect is that after receiving the vaccine, your arm may be sore, red or warm to the touch. These symptoms usually go away on their own within a week. Other side effects may include a headache, fever, chills or muscle aches – especially after receiving the second shot. These side effects are considered normal, and a sign that the COVID-19 vaccine is working to protect you.

“Those mild symptoms of feeling achy, (and) maybe some low-grade fever are really your immune system telling you that the vaccine is doing exactly what we want it do,” Dr. Gay says. “We want your immune system to respond to the vaccine (and) produce antibodies such that if and when someone is exposed to the coronavirus, those antibodies are present and can recognize, (and) bind to the coronavirus, and either prevent infection or make the infection less severe.”

So, the vaccine can make a person feel like they are sick, but symptoms almost always last just one to two days.

Explore more about side effects below and share any side effects that you experience with your doctor.

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