Patient receives Covid-19 vaccine shot. (Photo: Steven Cornfield/Unsplash)

USask pharmacist welcomes questions on vaccine response

While vaccines remain a safe and effective way to stop the spread of viruses like COVID-19, some of those who have been vaccinated are wondering about potential side-effects.

Q: I’m having some side-effects from my recent vaccination. Is this normal?

A: These are signs that our bodies are responding to the vaccine and this is a sign that our immune systems are ramping up. 

Have questions concerning the so-called “vaccine hangover?” Kelly Kizlyk, a pharmacist and medication information consultant at MedSask, a drug information service based out of the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), is one of many health-care professionals who can provide an answer. 

And when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations, any question is worth answering. 

“We are happy to answer anything that might be weighing on your mind when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, and there are lots of questions that come up in regards to side-effects and effectiveness,” said Kizlyk. 

But maybe don’t call it a vaccine “hangover.”

“I think the more appropriate way to frame it is as a vaccine response,” said Kizlyk. “A hangover is associated with a negative connotation. But this is a positive thing. It is our bodies responding to the vaccine and this is a sign that our immune systems are ramping up.”

And just because you don’t have a vaccine response, it doesn’t mean that the vaccine isn’t doing what it is supposed to be doing.

“Side effects to the vaccine vary,” Kizlyk noted. “Some folks are having different symptoms than others. What we are seeing are local side effects such as redness or pain or swelling around your arm where you get your vaccine. And some are having systemic or body side effects, and that’s what people are calling a vaccine hangover or what I call a vaccine response. These side effects are often flu-like—things like exhaustion, fever, chills, and aches.”

So what’s the best cure for any side-effects from getting a vaccine? 

Lots of rest and time for your body to recover, according to Kizlyk. 

“We do know that these symptoms will subside. The side-effects we are seeing from the COVID-19 vaccine generally subside anywhere from a couple of hours to a day or two. So it will go away in a couple of days.”

If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, please call/email the pharmacists at medSask:
Email:  med.sask@usask.ca
Phone Numbers:
1-800-665-3784 (Saskatchewan)
306-966-6378 (Saskatoon)


Protect the pack and get vaccinated

Over the past year USask has been uniting across Saskatchewan to help fight the spread of COVID-19 and to keep our communities safe. Now, each of us has another opportunity: get vaccinated and protect the pack. 

All approved COVID-19 vaccines are—like the many other vaccines you’ve received in your life—safe, proven, and effective ways to stop the spread of viruses like COVID-19.

We are getting closer to being back on the campus, and that becomes a reality once those who can get vaccinated do so.

As the Government of Saskatchewan continues to roll out the vaccination schedule, watch for your age group to become eligible, and for details on how to get vaccinated.

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