I want to start off by saying that I believe that if you can get vaccinated, you should get the vaccine to not only protect yourself but also your family and friends. My writing about my experience is not to discourage anyone from getting vaccinated.
After getting the J&J vaccine, I had a very sore arm which is a usual reaction for me with each shot. The difference for me was how sick I got afterward. After I get flu shots, I never get sick. I feel completely fine, but this might be because I get the flu vaccine yearly, or maybe my body just does not respond as strongly to the flu vaccine.
The worst side effects I got from the Covid-19 vaccine were chills, tiredness, and a fever. The chills made me feel like I could not stop shaking, no matter how many jackets I put on. Then, I felt so tired that morning that it was hard to wake up and start my day (keep in mind that it was a weekend, so maybe that was just normal). My temperature was taken six hours after the shot and it was 100.2. Seven hours after the shot, it was 101.2. Then, eleven hours after the shot, it was 102.0. My fever broke after six hours.
The next day, I felt normal. Just very tired. If you are planning on getting vaccinated, which I encourage even though there are side effects, take the rest of the day and/or the next day off. According to the CDC, normal symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, the new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. The CDC also says that serious trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds (depending on your skin tone) require medical attention.
I was lucky enough to still be at the vaccine clinic when I got these symptoms since I was volunteering. So the nurse there was able to tell me that I have a rapid immune system that is responding fast and strong to create this immune response. She also told me to not worry. Since I know that now, I feel a weight off my shoulders. I still have to worry about Covid-19 since it is still around, but I am confident that my vaccine is protecting me from getting very sick and hospitalized. The amount of relief I feel now is worth it. I would get the shot again, if necessary, to feel this relief I feel now.
My advice would be to take the day off, listen to your body, and know that you are doing your part to end this pandemic.