COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects Seniors Should Know About

senior covid

Coronavirus disease, also known as Covid-19, is an infectious respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. The condition is characterized by symptoms like cough, fever, tiredness, sore throat, headaches, skin rashes, irritated or red eyes, and shortness of breath.

The symptoms vary from person to person and are mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the overall health status of an individual. A 2020 study published by the National Library of Medicine highlights that older adults are more vulnerable to Covid-19.

Older adults are more likely to get sick from Covid-19 and may need hospitalization, a ventilator for breathing, or intensive care. The risk of getting Covid-19 increases for people between 50 and 80. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), getting a vaccine is the only way to prevent Covid-19’s severity.

Covid-19 vaccines have reached tens of millions of people worldwide. According to Health Grades, Whether you take Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, or Novavax, the vaccine offers life-saving protection against the deadly disease that has killed millions of people.

Although vaccines are an effective way to strengthen your immune system and reduce the risk of Covid-19, they may cause mild to moderate side effects, particularly among senior citizens. Today’s article will discuss these adverse effects.

Joint Pain

Aging is the most common cause of joint pain in senior citizens. It causes arthritis, a condition characterized by stiffness, swelling, redness, pain, inflammation, and decreased range of motion. Does the Covid-19 vaccine cause or worsen joint pain?

A 2021 study published by the National Institute of Health (NIH) reports that the Covid-19 vaccine can cause reactive arthritis. It can cause swelling, redness, and pain in various body joints, particularly the knees, toes, feet, ankles, and hips.

Another study highlights that a 74-year-old woman who received the Covid-19 vaccine experienced swelling, inflammation, and pain in her right hand for 20 days. Researchers report that she started experiencing joint pain two days after getting the vaccine. However, joint pain is a rare side effect in most older adults.

Headaches and Fatigue

According to AARP, headaches, muscle pain, and fatigue are common side effects of Covid-19 vaccines. While these side effects occur in all age groups, they are more prevalent in older adults due to a weakened immune system.

You may experience moderate to severe fatigue after getting a Covid-19 vaccine, especially if you have a weakened metabolic system and low energy levels. Fatigue is an older adult’s natural reaction to build immunity against the deadly virus.

The good news is that you can take NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, to reduce these symptoms. Remember, the Covid-19 vaccines do not cause severe complications, infections, or illnesses.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Although gastrointestinal issues among senior citizens due to Covid-19 vaccination are rare, one study highlights that inflammatory changes in the digestive system can thicken the small intestine’s wall.

The immune system reacts to the vaccine’s content and causes inflammatory changes in the body. As a result, older adults experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some older adults have abdominal cramps, pain, restricted bowel movement, bloating, or mucus in stool.

The problem worsens for older adults who already suffer from digestive issues. A 2022 study published on NCBI evaluated data related to Covid-19 side effects. Data assessment and analysis show that abdominal cramps, pain, and diarrhea are common side effects after getting the Covid-19 vaccine.

Deep Vein Thrombosis and Anaphylaxis

Deep vein thrombosis is a long-term side effect of the Covid-19 vaccine. While this condition does not occur in adults, some older adults above 60 are vulnerable to developing acute deep-vein thrombosis after getting the Covid-19 vaccine.

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction with symptoms like lightheadedness, shallow breathing, faster heartbeats, anxiety, and loss of consciousness. A 2021 study highlights that Covid-19 vaccines rarely cause anaphylaxis, yet older adults are vulnerable to experiencing the condition.

Final Words

Your immune system recognizes the Covid-19 virus after getting vaccinated. Because the vaccine strengthens the immune system, it causes mild to moderate side effects in people of all ages.

However, older adults are more likely to experience adverse reactions. We recommend consulting your primary healthcare provider if the symptoms/side effects worsen. Until Next Time!