Covid vaccine: Swollen armpit ‘potential side effect’ – should you be worried?

Fitness & Health:

Where, when and how you can get your booster has been one of the biggest topics on the tip of people’s tongues since the booster programme went into full flow at the start of this week. Around the country the population has been queuing up to get their booster to play a role in fighting Omicron and so they can feel a bit safer this Christmas. Most vaccines have side effects, they’re not uncommon. In most cases, you get a leaflet explaining the side effects you might experience.

One of these side effects you might experience is the swelling of the lymph nodes under the arm, around your armpit.

Swollen lymph nodes are a potential side effect of any vaccine, according to diagnostic radiologist Laura Dean.

The lymph nodes are a small chain of glands that run through your body; they’re part of your immune system and contain lymphocytes that fight off disease.


The reason why this side effect of the vaccine may be of concern is because it is also a symptom of some serious conditions.

READ MORE: Omicron symptoms: seven early symptoms to spot

The vaccine may cause the lymph nodes to swell due to how your immune system reacts.

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This because the vaccine is designed to get your immune system to mount a response and so your lymph nodes might swell in reaction to the vaccine as they would to a cold or flu.

Dean told the Cleveland Clinic: “The whole point of the vaccine is to get your immune system to mount a response to whatever the vaccine agent is.”

The swollen lymph nodes will appear a few days after you’ve been given the jab.

The swelling will be on the same side of the body as the arm into which the jab was injected.


Lymph nodes may not always just be a side effect however, they can be a sign of something far more serious, such as cancer.

However, there can be other, non-cancer related causes.

As mentioned, you might also experience swollen lymph nodes when you experience a cold or a flu.

Furthermore, swollen lymph nodes may also be a sign of a sinus infection.

The main messages to get out through all this are firstly that if in doubt, you should consult your GP or doctor if you have any concerns.

It is far better to check and have it turn out to be nothing, than to let it linger and find it’s something worse further down the line.

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The second comes from many health experts urging people to get vaccinated.

It’s been shown to be one of the best ways people can protect themselves and their family.

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