Is the coronavirus vaccination painful?

This is part 83 of our coronavirus FAQ. Click here to read other installments: #Coronavirus the facts. Find the latest information and answers from experts on everything COVID-19.

Intramuscular injections

Most coronavirus vaccines are designed to be injected into a muscle. In Japan, it's more common for injections to be into the layer between skin and muscle. Some people worry that the intramuscular shot will be more painful than injections they have had before, but experts say that isn't necessarily the case.

Professor Okada Kenji of the Fukuoka Nursing College, who is also president of the Japanese Society for Vaccinology, says intramuscular injections are commonly used overseas for regular vaccinations and reportedly allow vaccines to be absorbed faster.

Okada says intramuscular injections are not always more painful than subcutaneous shots — it depends on the substances in the vaccine — but there have been reports from abroad that the coronavirus vaccines can hurt. He says this is something that healthcare workers should communicate to people before administering the shot.

The information is accurate as of April 6, 2021.