Spanish Vocabulary and Resources for the COVID-19 Vaccine

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Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is available, it is would be useful to learn a few Spanish words to help the Spanish-speaking population with this next step of the pandemic. (See Spanish Vocabulary for the Coronavirus Pandemic for more words and phrases related to the virus.) Let’s start out with general vaccination vocabulary.

General Vaccination Vocabulary in Spanish

  • to vaccinate (someone else) = vacunar
  • to vaccinate somebody against COVID = vacunar a alguien contra el COVID
  • vaccine = la vacuna
  • vaccination = la vacunación
  • injection = la inyección
  • You should…. (shouldn’t…) = (No) debe…
  • be/get vaccinated = vacunarse

Side effects (Efectos secundarios)

  • redness = enrojecimiento
  • inflammation = inflamación
  • swelling = hinchazón
  • muscle aches = dolores musculares
  • fatigue = fatiga / cansancio
  • fever = fiebre
  • headache = dolor de cabeza
  • nausea = nausea
  • chills = escalofríos
  • joint pain = dolor en las articulaciones

Let’s say you wanted to tell your patients about some possible side effects. What can you say? Here is an example:

Puede tener enrojecimiento, hinchazón o dolor donde se dio la vacuna. La fatiga, la fiebre, el dolor de cabeza y dolor en las articulaciones tampoco son infrecuentes en los primeros tres días después de la vacunación.

More Vocabulary (Más vocabulario)

  • research = las investigaciones
  • studies = los estudios
  • risks = los riesgos
  • benefits = los beneficios
  • first dose = primera dosis
  • second dose = segunda dosis

Outside COVID-19 Resources in Spanish

I am not a medical professional, but I do trust scientists and the medical community who have dedicated their life to the profession. As to not reinvent the wheel, I have compiled a list of resources from reputable sources for additional Spanish-learning opportunities, as well as resources to share with your Spanish-speaking friends, colleagues, and patients.

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)8 Things to Know about the U.S. COVID-19 Vaccination Program8 datos importantes acerca del Programa de vacunación contra el COVID
CDCCOVID-19 Vaccines Vacuna contra el COVID-19
CDCEnsuring the Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines in the United StatesGarantizar la seguridad de las vacunas contra el COVID-19 en los Estados Unidos
CDCFrequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 VaccinationPreguntas frecuentes sobre la vacunación contra el COVID-19
CDCUnderstanding mRNA COVID-19 VaccinesInformación para entender cómo actúan las vacunas de ARNm contra el COVID-19
CDCWhat to Expect at Your Vaccine Appointment (pdf)Información sobre las vacunas contra el COVID-10 (pdf)
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)COVID-19 Vaccines: Get the FactsVacuna contra la COVID-19: Obtén la información verdadera


Perhaps you would like to practice your listening skills or have resources to show to the Spanish-speakers in your life.  I have only embedded the Spanish video, but make sure to check out the English version below it if you’d like to compare.

How Would COVID Vaccines Work in Your Body? (Washington State Department of Health)

Frequently Asked Questions about the COVID-19 Vaccine (Minnesota Health) – English

News Clips in Spanish Related to the Vaccine

Would you prefer to hear Spanish-speaking doctors and patients talk about their experiences with the vaccine? Don’t forget that you can also put on the Spanish captions by clicking the “CC” button in the bottom right corner of the YouTube video.

Comments or Suggestions?

I hope these vocabulary words and phrases help you in your job and in the next phrase of the pandemic. If you have any suggestions for what I can add to this post, please email me at and I’ll be sure to get you the vocabulary you need.

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