Covid-19 vaccine side effects

It’s a good idea, when you travel abroad, to know how to describe what you are feeling, in case you need to go to an emergency medical service.

So, we started with the most common health problems, ways to ask about someone’s health, and typical responses.

Next we looked at simple conversations between doctor and patient, and we worked on a dialogue in which a patient visits his doctor because he has many of the classic Covid-19 symptoms.

Then, working with a student, she told me that she had a hard time with the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Forty-eight hours after she took it, she had a rash / she broke out in a rash on her neck and forehead. She didn’t have a fever, but her blood pressure went down / dropped / decreased. Then, she called the doctor, and the doctor prescribed her an anti-allergic medication/drug. She took the medication and rested. ‘It was weird,’ she said.

Here is a piece of news which is a good listening and reading practice, as it brings the vocabulary related to this problem.

I also had / got / experienced side effects / suffered from side effects from the Covid-19 vaccine. I had / experienced fatigue, a fever, a headache and, body aches.

In case you need to go to an emergency service, one of the questions they may ask you is: Are you allergic to any medicine/medication?

You should respond:

Yes, I’m allergic to…

No, not that I’m aware of / not that I know of.


What about you? Did you have / get / experience side effects or suffered from side effects from the Covid-19 vaccine? What did you have?

Nota: O intuito desta lição, é oferecer soluções lexicais, para caso necessite, você possa comunicar com segurança e tranquilidade, seus sintomas. Ao que tudo indica, o tema não deverá, tão cedo, desaparecer da nossa realidade.

At the doctor’s office – Covid

In this animated dialogue, a patient visits his doctor because he has many classic Covid-19 symptoms. 

But first, you may need to look at the most common health problems, ways to ask about someone’s health, and typical responses.

Then, it might be necessary to check some simple conversations between doctor and patient

Okay! Now you’re ready for this simple but useful dialogue in times of pandemic. Listen carefully, and after doing that, practice here. Look up the words you don’t know and enjoy this unique lesson!

At the doctor’s office

If you don’t look well – you should see a doctor / go to your doctor. And for that, you may need to make an appointment with your doctor.

The two expressions see a doctor and go to the doctor can be used to indicate a need to consult a doctor, that is, to obtain medical advice and any necessary treatment.

We started with the most common health problems, ways to ask about someone’s health, and typical responses.

Now let’s look at a simple conversation between doctor and patient. This is an interactive listening and speaking practice. Please listen and then repeat after Mark. Have fun learning to talk with a doctor and speak English now.

How are you feeling today?

Not very well, Doctor.

Tell me about it.

Well, I have a terrible headache.

How about your throat?

It hurts a little.

Do you have a cough?

Yes, I have a cough, too.

Do you feel weak?

Yes, I get tired very quickly.

Let’s take your temperature.

Your temperature is 39.1 degrees Celsius.

You have a fever.

It seems the you have the flu.

Oh, that’s terrible.

Don’t worry.

Take this medicine and rest.

OK. I understand.

Please come back next week for a checkup.

I will.

Thank you Doctor.

Find a few more useful sentences below. Listen carefully and write them down.

Health Problems

The most common ways to ask about someone’s health are:

  • How do you feel (today)?
  • How are you feeling?
  • Is everything okay?

Some typical responses are:

  • I’m fine.
  • I feel sick.
  • Not so good.
  • Not very well.
  • I don’t feel well.
  • I’m sick.

When you see (or hear) that they are not well, then you can ask:

  • What’s the matter?
  • What’s wrong?

If the person wants to say what is wrong, they may give the reason they feel that way:

  • I have … (+ health condition)
  • I’ve got … (+ health condition)
  • I have a headache
  • I’ve got a sore throat.

The difference between sick and ill

To most people, both sick and ill more or less mean the same thing, that you are not in a healthy condition.

Sick is less formal than ill and usually describes short-term ailments or diseases (like a cold or cough). Sick can also refer to feeling nauseous. In British English, to be sick can mean to vomit.

Ill is often for more serious health problems (like cancer or pneumonia) but can also be used for short-term ones.

Illness (noun) refers to a medical condition. Sickness (noun) refers to how you feel.

The difference between ache and pain

Ache is a continuous or prolonged dull pain in a part of the body. It can often be a throbbing sensation that covers more than one point. You can sometimes try and ignore an ache.

Pain is physical suffering or discomfort caused by illness or injury. It is usually a sharp sensation in a specific part of the body and hurts more than an ache.

9/11 and heroes

We have recently learned how to use the words birthday and anniversary. This lesson shows the noun anniversary used to talk about the 20th anniversary of the September 11 tragedy. Note that the ordinal number indicating the number of years precedes the word anniversary.

The attack remains one of the most traumatic events of the century, not only for Americans but also for the world.

Around the US, every year, people pause to remember those who lost their lives on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, vowing to “never forget.”

“9/11” is shorthand for the date, September 11, 2001. On that date, four airplanes were hijacked or taken over by 19 terrorists, part of the terrorist group called “al-Qaeda,” and used as giant, guided missiles to crash into landmark buildings in New York and Washington. Two planes struck the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York. As people rushed out of the towers, many rushed in to help, including firefighters and police officers, who saved thousands of lives.

Almost 3,000 people died, and thousands were injured or later developed illnesses connected to the attacks, including firefighters who had worked in toxic debris. Citizens of 77 different countries were among the casualties.

The third plane destroyed the western face of the Pentagon – the giant headquarters of the US military just outside the nation’s capital, Washington DC.

And the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania after passengers fought back. There is speculation that the hijackers had meant to attack the Capitol Building in Washington DC.

  • All 246 passengers and crew aboard the four planes were killed
  • At the Twin Towers, 2,606 people died – then or later of injuries
  • At the Pentagon, 125 people were killed

Around 17,000 people were in the buildings when they were hit by the planes. Most of them left safely. As they rushed out, firemen, police officers, and other volunteers rushed in to help those still trapped. We call these heroes “first responders”. The buildings were very damaged, though, and before the first responders could help everyone, they collapsed.

On the one hand, the world witnessed the searing destructiveness of naked hate that day; on the other hand saw many performing incredible acts of heroism, sympathy, and gratitude.

People came from all over the world to help. Some came to help the injured. Some came to help clean up the site. Others brought food and support messages for the workers. Many people worked around the clock (all day and all night without stopping) to clear the rubble and the debris, and eight months later, the last of the steel was removed.

To help us remember, a permanent 9/11 Memorial and a Museum were opened at the site of the original World Trade Center on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. Together, they remind us what happened that day and help us remember all the people who lost their lives. They also let us remember the importance of helping each other and making our community and world a better place.


  • What does the word “hero” mean to you? Do you think of someone with superhuman strength or someone you know?

  • What makes a hero?

  • How can we show support and gratitude to those who act heroically or are absolutely and genuinely committed to the well-being of our community, country, or the world?