People Reporting Crazy Dreams After Getting Coronavirus Vaccine

More and more people are reporting they had crazy dreams after getting their COVID-19 shot; KDKA's Dr. Maria Simbra reports.

Video Transcript

- Headache, chills, swelling-- those are some of the side effects that some people experience after getting their COVID vaccine. But what about this one? Vivid dreams. More and more people are reporting they had crazy dreams after getting their shot. Health editor Dr. Maria Simbra takes a look at the possible cause, new at 6:30.

MARIA SIMBRA: Richard Vetstein got both doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

RICHARD VETSTEIN: The second one was definitely much, much, much heavier, much stronger reaction. I woke up at like 4:00 AM, just pretty bad flu-like symptoms, and stomachache, and everything else.

MARIA SIMBRA: That includes vivid dreams.

RICHARD VETSTEIN: One of them was I saved a Belgian town from the Nazis. So that was interesting. And then the other one, I was on the Titanic. You wake up and you're like, what was that?

MARIA SIMBRA: He posted his experience on social media and was surprised at the response.

RICHARD VETSTEIN: A bunch of people commented that they also had weird dreams, too, after the vaccine.

MARIA SIMBRA: Sleep specialists are hearing stories like this from their patients.

DANIEL SHADE: We're seeing a lot of anecdotal reports. The literature really doesn't support this right now, but it's early.

MARIA SIMBRA: After immunization, or with a COVID infection, or just during the pandemic, in general, Dr. Shade says his patients have commented on bizarre dreams.

DANIEL SHADE: Along with a lot of [AUDIO OUT] is that it really affects your sleep-wake cycle.

MARIA SIMBRA: He doesn't have a precise explanation, but guesses it has something to do with poor sleep from the anticipation of side effects.

DANIEL SHADE: They're expecting to experience fever, muscle pain, headache, and they're probably not sleeping well. And the most common reason that we remember dreams is that our sleep is disrupted.

MARIA SIMBRA: Whether the immune response is reacting with brain cells, it's too soon to say.

DANIEL SHADE: But we're going to look back on the data years from now and say, you know what? These dreams weren't just PTSD. There was actually a physiologic cause for it.

MARIA SIMBRA: If a booster dose is needed in the future, the intense dreams won't stop Richard.

RICHARD VETSTEIN: Ventilator versus feeling a little bad, a bad dream? I'm sorry, but I'll take that trade off.

MARIA SIMBRA: Severe illness with COVID would be the bigger nightmare. I'm Dr. Maria Simbra. KDKA News.