This page last updated June 22, 2021
We have been asked whether COVID-19 vaccines can cause dizziness and whether the vaccines can worsen pre-existing vestibular conditions. COVID-19 is a recently discovered disease - there are still not enough data to answer these questions. Anecdotally, we have heard of some people experiencing new or increased dizziness after being vaccinated.
Fortunately most reported side effects of the vaccines have been short-term, lasting up to several days. Read the weekly report on COVID-19 vaccine safety (Government of Canada) for more details. A search in May, 2021 on the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) website returned dizziness being a reported side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine in 12% of people.
Short-term dizziness after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is usually related to an anxiety-related response rather than a reaction to the vaccine itself according to an article in Medical News Today. Some people who have had anxiety-related reactions after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine have reported similar reactions after vaccinations to prevent other diseases.
Dizziness after a COVID-19 vaccination can sometimes be a symptom of an allergic reaction, but this is most common in the first 15 to 30 minutes after vaccination, according to the CDC.
Balance & Dizziness Canada is not a medical clinic and thus does not track or report adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine. Should you experience significant new or worsening dizziness following COVID-19 immunization in Canada, please ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to complete the Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) form. If you have any questions or have difficulties contacting your local health unit, contact Vaccine Safety Section at Public Health Agency of Canada (Tel: 1-866-844-0018; Fax 1-866-844-5931).
Although the effects of a COVID-19 infection are mild for most people, for many they are severe and long-lasting or even deadly. However, when the number of adverse reactions to the vaccines is compared with the number of "long-haulers" or those who have died from COVID-19, it is still safe to consider that the likely protection offered by the available vaccines appears to vastly outweigh any risks of being vaccinated.