Since the declaration of Coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), it was clear that vaccination is the best way to overcome it. Sinopharm, AstraZeneca and Pfizer were the first vaccines introduced to defeat it. To recognize the short-term adverse effects among Iraqi health care workers (HCWs) after vaccination, the three COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available in Iraq were compared. An online survey was distributed to Iraqi HCWs who had received at least one of the COVID-19 vaccines as part of a retrospective cross-sectional study. Data were statistically analyzed using SPSS. The total number of participants was 843. The majority of the participants (85.9%) were under 39 years old, with 78.8% of them being females. Around 60% of individuals had received the Pfizer vaccine. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) had infected 46.7% of the total participants. A total of 628 out of 843 participants experienced adverse effects after receiving the vaccine, accounting for 74.49% of the overall respondents. After receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, the vast majority of respondents who received the three vaccines experienced pain at the injection site ( = 800), while other side effects like headache, myalgia, tiredness and fever mainly appeared with Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines. Most of the reported adverse effects were tolerable and self-limited and they were linked to the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines.