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VERIFY: False lists of coronavirus vaccine side effects vs. the facts

There are only six known side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine right now. All are mild and typically associated with vaccines.

All vaccines can cause side effects. The Department of Health and Human Services says it’s common to have soreness in the area where you receive the shot as well as suffering a mild fever. 

But what about “high-pitched” screams or shrieks? That’s just one of the examples listed on a viral list of vaccine side effects that has been popping up on social media.

The VERIFY team isn’t going to list the entire claim, because most of the side effects aren’t realistic and could lead to further misinformation about the vaccines.


Is a viral chart listing “high-pitched” screaming and roughly 30 other side effects for COVID-19 vaccines accurate?


No. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, Pfizer and Moderna all have available lists of side effects for the COVID-19 vaccines. Their lists show about six mild symptoms compared to the roughly 30 in the viral post. 


The CDC explains that the COVID-19 vaccine will provide protection from getting the disease, but may cause some side effects. They describe these as “normal signs that your body is building protection.”

The potential side effects of the COVID-19, according to data from clinical trials for both vaccines and health authorities listed so far are: 

  • Swelling, redness, heat or hardness at the site of the injection
  • Fever
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Headache

While these can vary from person to person along with possible allergic reactions (also caused by individual health conditions), the viral post lists dozens of side effects that have yet to be reported in patients who’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine.

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