CLL and covid vaccine - efficacy and side effe... - CLL Support

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CLL and covid vaccine - efficacy and side effects?

SpiralDreams profile image

Has anyone with CLL had the covid vaccine yet? Did you experience any side effects? I had a flu shot this year that made my lymph nodes swell and sore for about 2 months. I'm wondering what to expect when I get my scheduled covid vaccine in a month. I was initially going to wait to see what studies showed regarding the efficacy for people with CLL and any negative effect, but I decided the risk/benefit ratio made it worth going ahead with it now. I would like to hear other people's experience and decision process around this. Thanks!

28 Replies

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Had first Pfizer...all went fine...slight arm pain. Getting second tomorrow. No reactions from any flu shots ever. Pneumonia shots were fine too.

I was on W&W 12 years. Had treatment 2018 & in remission.

Discuss your shot experience with your hematologist. Should be fine. 💕

Welcome to the forum. If you follow SofiaDeo advice you will find more responses than you ever imagined.

Also, if you lock your post you may get more replies.


Hi, I’ve been on wait & watch since early 2017. I just received my first moderna vaccination on Monday. The only side effect I had was a slight headache (Tylenol helped) and I took an afternoon nap, which I don’t normally do. Other than that, no problems.

I got both shots of Pfizer. First shot my arm felt like it was hit with a bat very sore but lasted only 24 hrs. Had a little fatigue for a day but that’s it. Second shot arm soreness a lot less but was tired a few days felt like I was fighting something my glands in my neck were a little swollen but that’s it

I had severe swelling in my armpit from the flu shot this year. Never had a reaction to the flu shots before. I've had both shots of Pfizer with only a slightly sore arm the second day each time. On watch and wait since April 2019 with SLL.

Hi,Had my first Moderna vaccine a week ago. No reaction at all, barely felt the injection. No side effects days after as well.

We are blessed to have effective vaccines so soon.

Pfizer first shot was fine the day of shot and barely felt the jab. Woke late the next morning so fatigued and with arm soreness that I went right back to bed and slept until 6pm. Woke up feeling great, fatigue and soreness gone. Have heard second shot can generate more side effects so not planning anything for a few days after that one just in case, in light of my response to shot 1. The minor inconvenience is worth it to me. Am W&W, flu shots were nothing., so this surprized me.

I have been on Ibrutinib 2 1/2 years. I had my first moderna vaccine a few days ago. Only side effect was a sore arm for a couple of days.

No side affects, but did catch Covid19 7 days later.

Hi. I had my first vaccine two weeks ago (Astravenica). Slight headache for two days , no other issues.

I had mine 3 weeks ago and had no side effects at all. X

I had first AZ vaccine two weeks ago. I had flu like symptoms for about 24 hours achy and hot and felt very tired and lethargic for several days. Feeling fine now though

I had my first shot last week. No reaction I'm on imbrutin 5 yeArs

First shot had chills and a slight headache. Gone in a couple of days. Second shot had nausea chills headache and had to take Tylenol.was very tired. Couldn’t work half the day. In day two now, have slight chills and a slight headache but nothing close to yesterday.

Greetings! I was diagnosed a year ago (Feb. 2020), and am in the W&W phase now. I received my 2nd vaccination (Pfizer) one week ago and was delightfully surprised by the fact that I experienced NO side effects from either. The 2nd shot is supposedly the more difficult of the two and I'm sure others have experienced difficulties after receiving one or both. But again, I had NO adverse reaction. The annual flu shots typically cause a little soreness (and redness), and the shingles vaccines was a slightly more problematic. But - at least for me - Pfizer's COVID vaccine was trouble-free.

I caution everyone to be wary of all of the conspiracy theories re: any of the COVID vaccines that abound these days. It's true that the possibility of adverse effects in the long-term are UNKNOWN at the present time, but the certainty of catching COVID (and experiencing possibly severe consequences) is KNOWN... as is the efficacy of the vaccines. So, I reasoned that it was prudent to act on the KNOWN elements and NOT be deterred by the UNKNOWN. Still, everyone is different - and has to decide for themselves. Hope this helps!

I had the fist Moderna shot 15 days ago, sore arm for a day, no other side effects. I hear the second shot will result in some flu like symptoms.

No problems here!

I had my first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech a little over two weeks ago. What I felt was nothing more than some pain in the area where the shot was given. I am having a second dose in a few days, so I can't report on that yet. I expect the second dose will affect me some more than the first. Seems to be the general experience. Regarding your experience with the flu shot, last year in July I had a Tdap vaccine one day and the next a shingles one. The lymph-nodes in both my armpits got very swollen, one much more than the other. No pain, just the swelling. I called my hematologist-oncologist and he attributed it to having had two vaccines together. (I guess I shouldn't have done that!) He said not to worry that it would soon return to normal, which it did in a few days, maybe a week. Good luck!

I am 15 years W&W and had all 3 Pfizer shots already. No symptoms after the first shot except for a sore arm. After the 2nd shot had achy bones, no fever, little nausea. It all went away after a day. However, 3 days later I woke up to my arm beet red, itching and hot. After research on line found out they are calling this Covid arm and others have gotten it as well. It took about 3 days to resolve. On line one woman got it 8 days after her vaccine. They are saying it is an allergic reaction but nothing real serious. Was still worth getting the vaccines.

Had Astra Zeneca 2 weeks ago and had joint pains for a few days after about 4 days

As I've said elsewhere I had my first AZ jab 3 weeks ago & had a slightly sore arm a couple of days after.

Yes, I have had both vaccines. A slight sore arm with the first one & felt a little foggy and tired with the second, Symptoms only lasted for a couple of days. I had Covid back in March before I was diagnosed with CLL. I did not want a repeat infection and my doctor recommended me getting the vaccine as soon as it was offered to me. I am a healthcare worker which gave me the opportunity. Hope this helps others. The Covid virus is no joke and I doubt my now fragile lungs would survive another experience. So I would recommend the vaccine for everyone when they can get it.

I just had my second Pfizer shot yesterday. Nothing significant so far. Normal temp of 98.0 now. It did go up tp 99.1 last night, but that is also normal. Two weeks after the first shot it rose to 99.4 for a few hours but again back down. Bottom line: no problem.


I’m almost 6 years W&W. Have had both Moderna shots, 6 days post second one today. 1st one resulted in a very sore arm and fogginess the next day, then fine. 2nd one was a different story! Almost no arm soreness and felt perfect for 24 hrs, then got slammed with extreme tiredness, chills, aches and a fever up to 103.8. Tylenol and cold compresses helped. Next day fever was down to 101 and was gone by afternoon. I forced myself to drink a lot of liquids. Slept long and hard those 2 nights and woke up 3rd morning feeling completely normal. Yesterday I developed the crazy itchy hot spot Covid arm rash. It’s just annoying. I’ve never had a reaction to a vaccine before so this is pretty weird. But beats getting Covid for sure.

Thanks for your input! I would get pretty nervous with that high of a fever, but it is comforting to know that it is not terribly uncommon and resolves fairly quickly. I hope I don't get the fever, but I won't be so worried if it does.

This article helped me understand what was going on. Helped me worry less!

Hi SpiralDreams

I’ve been W&W since 2005. I have now had both Pfizer shots. No reaction at all to the first shot. A day after the second one I had swelling and redness of armpit lymph nodes and severe joint pain. The reaction lasted several days before fading. It appears reaction may be more likely after the second shot in many people, CLL or not. The protection is worth the possible reaction. Hope yours goes well.

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