Avatar universal

Anyone with Hashimotos experience Covid-19 vaccine side effects?

I got my first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday, February 16th.

I have Hashimotos (although my thyroid was removed 2.5 years ago, and I probably have low anti-thyroid antibody levels now).  Presumably I have a "robust immune system".

So far I have had a very minor reaction to the vaccine, I was just wondering if anyone else with Hashimoto's had similar symptoms, and if it was worse when they got the second dose.  (Feel free to share your vaccine experience even if you don't have Hashi's)

Reaction to the first dose of the vaccine for me included:

Pain at the injection site, starting a few hours later and general muscle achiness in the shoulder for 24 hours.

Bruising at the injection site (the needle hit a blood vessel which the person injecting apologized for so I don't think it happens that often, and there was some slight bleeding - so I assume that's why I bruised up)

Slight headache starting 20 minutes after receiving the first dose and lasted about 12 hours first day/night, and has come and gone several times the next two days (still coming and going).

Nausea, which did not start until 24 hours later, and was very slight to start with but has been increasing in intensity at 48 hours post vaccine.  (So far this is the most intense of all my side effects)

Increased urge to urinate starting about 24 hours after the vaccine.  This might be a weird symptom only I get - and is probably contributing to my off and on headaches as my body is probably losing more water than normal.

Slight increase in fatigue, starting about 18 hours post vaccine.  It feels nothing like hypothyroidism fatigue used to feel, but it is still a little fatigue nonetheless.

So far I don't have a fever, hot flashes or chills.

I just thought I'd share and see if anyone else experienced something similar.  All of these side effects are very minor and not anything I'm worried about or all that bothered by, I'm just curious what others have experienced, and wondering if the second dose will be similar or worse for me.
2 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
All the symptoms you have mentioned are quite common based on feedback I have heard.  The only ones that are unique are nausea and frequent urination.  Most symptoms generally last no more than two days.  The other variability is some get it on the first shot and not the second, or vice versa.  Wish you well.
Helpful - 0
Thanks Jasper1966,

I just want to clarify, I'm aware these are all common side effects.

I'm still very curious how people with Hashimoto's respond to the vaccine and whether we are more likely to experience side effects, since Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disease where we make antibodies against our own thyroids.  Since we're talking about the adaptive cellular (T cell) and humoral (B cell) responses in both Hashimoto's (against the thyroid) and with the Covid vaccine (against viral proteins), it's unclear whether someone with Hashi's is more likely to have a response than someone with a non-autoimmune disease.

I can't find much information (yet) on the internet on how people with autoimmune diseases react to the vaccine, most sites say there is no known reason why someone with Hashimoto's shouldn't get the vaccine, but no studies have been done (yet), hence I'm asking people here if they've had a reaction.

Autoimmune diseases are caused by a dysfunction of the immune system - from what I can tell, one possible explanation is that the regulatory T cells which are supposed to teach the immune system to tolerate self are not doing their jobs properly (regulatory T cells inhibit or kill helper T cells that recognize "self" antigens and therefore stop the amplification of antibody producing B cells when presented with "self" in this case small portions of thyroid proteins thyroglobulin or thyroid peroxidase). If it is a T reg problem that is the cause of Hashi's, I wouldn't necessarily expect a more robust immune response to any antigen.  It is also possible the immune system is just more active than it should be, and people with Hashi's might have more of a reaction.

I was going to get the vaccine regardless of whether I might suffer a mild to moderate reaction or not since getting Covid has potentially far more serious consequences. I've never had a reaction to medication or foods and was not and still do not expect a serious immediate reaction to the vaccine.  I've never had a reaction to the flu vaccine (or any other vaccine), so I wasn't expecting a strong reaction to this one.  I don't think the nausea is that unique from the list of side effects, and more frequent urination is maybe a common side effect but one that is difficult for people to notice.
649848 tn?1534633700
Hi Sarah...

My husband and I, both had the Moderna vaccine.  I have Hashimoto's, husband doesn't.  After the first shot, we both got horrible fatigue for about 24 hrs.  I got really bad pain at the injection site and it swelled like I had a ping pong ball under my skin, plus I felt like I simply "didn't feel good" though there was nothing else I could really put my finger on.    Neither of us had any other side effects.

My husband had no side effects from the second shot.  Again, I had the injections site swelling/pain and simply felt like I didn't feel well for about 24 hrs.  

It's important to note that even a flu shot, as well as other vaccinations will cause me to have extreme injection site swelling and pain (arm/shoulder area) and I often feel lethargic/tired afterwards.  

We have neighbors who had the Pfizer vaccine.  One of them had thyroidectomy years ago due to Graves Disease, plus he had prostate cancer last year.  Neither of them had any adverse effects from the vaccine - not even the soreness at injection site.  Not fair, is it???   lol

From what I've read, those of us with Hashimoto's are not any more susceptible to side effects than those without autoimmune issues.   That said, there are some autoimmune conditions that make one super susceptible, such as Lupus, which my daughter has.  She had an order from her doctor to get vaccinated asap.  She had the J&J shot and did well with it.
Helpful - 0
Thanks for sharing, Barb.

This makes total sense - it sounds like it is just random who has a reaction and who doesn't (although it sounds like women might be more likely to have side effects from some articles I saw).

My mom had Moderna, Dad had Pfizer, both seemed a little fatigued but otherwise ok after.  My sister had Pfizer yesterday, she's younger than me but does not have Hashi's, and so far she is just fatigued but fine otherwise.

I'm on day 3 of the mild nausea (started about 24 hours, now still here 96 hours later).  My weight is down 4 pounds from Wednesday morning (before the nausea started), but I'm still able to eat close to normal (I've stopped snacking temporarily and I'm probably getting in 600-700 calories less per day than normal - which isn't great for my running but is probably fine for the short term).  

The nausea seems like a very mile reaction compared to more serious symptoms like fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, etc. that some people get, and I'm not too concerned by it.
Our bodies are all different, so I'm sure that, like all things, we react differently.  

If your mild nausea is the only effect left, it's possible it's caused by something else.  Stopping snacking will cause weight loss, so that wouldn't be unusual.  I'm not sure if you're trying to run every day with the nausea (?) - if so, perhaps if you stop and rest for a couple of days, it will subside more quickly.  
I'm assuming the nausea is a vaccine side effect based on the timing, and the fact that it started when I was still experiencing the on and off headaches the second day.  Nausea is listed as a common side effect.

Hopefully it will got away on its own in a couple days - as far as I can tell reactogenicity side effects occur within the first seven days of getting a vaccine, so despite several websites telling me the side effects should all subside within a few days, some people might experience them for longer than others, and I'm not too worried.

I don't think the running is exacerbating the nausea, since it seems to lessen while I'm running.  (And by running, I mean jogging at a very easy pace - I won't be doing any "speed workouts" until the nausea is gone.  I probably did not "need" to do a long run today, but I felt less nausea while on the run than later in the day.)  If I'm still nauseous when I wake up, I might consider walking/doing walking intervals on the run tomorrow and see if that helps.  
I'm feeling much better today (5 days post vaccine).  Even with the nausea, I would say this was a very minor reaction, it just took a few days to go away.
From everything I've read, one should rest until the side effects have cleared, but of course, again, everyone is different.  Personally, I stopped most of my activities during the time I had the side effects to give my body a chance to rest so it could more easily fight off the symptoms.  I had a broken foot and was doing physical therapy for my neck when I received my injections, so my body was already under considerable stress.  
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Thyroid Disorders Community

Top Thyroid Answerers
649848 tn?1534633700
Avatar universal
1756321 tn?1547095325
Queensland, Australia
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
We tapped the CDC for information on what you need to know about radiation exposure
Endocrinologist Mark Lupo, MD, answers 10 questions about thyroid disorders and how to treat them
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.
Herpes spreads by oral, vaginal and anal sex.
STIs are the most common cause of genital sores.
Condoms are the most effective way to prevent HIV and STDs.