Experts weigh in on why some people have side-effects

August 5, 2021
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When Craig Silliphant was waiting in line to get his COVID-19 vaccine shot, he was aware the dose going into his arm could leave him with some side-effects.

The 46-year-old Saskatoon culture commentator says he has experienced some self-inflicted legendary hangovers in his life. So, the possibility of a “vaccine hangover” in exchange for a dose that would keep him and his family safe was an easy choice.

“I’d like to think all the training and drinking I’ve done throughout my life … had some positive effect on how I felt,” Silliphant says with a laugh.

The day after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, he had a sore arm but soon after “felt like a million bucks.” Two friends who got the same vaccine at the same time, however, developed flu-like symptoms for about 24 hours, he says.

As more Canadians get vaccinated each day, some are reporting a range of side-effects.

Some people have a bit of pain and swelling in the area they received the shot. But a smaller number might also experience tiredness, headache, muscle pains, chills, fever or nausea.

These symptoms now have the informal title of the “vaccine hangover.”

Jason Kindrachuk, assistant professor in the department of medical microbiology and infectious diseases at the University of Manitoba, says immune systems are complex and very individualized.

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