Covid vaccine update: The side effects you may experience with each jab – full list
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The government reported more than half of those aged 80 and over have been vaccinated. NHS letters inviting the next priority groups have been sent out to those aged 70 and over and the clinically extremely vulnerable. One of the circulating vaccines in the UK – the Pfizer/BioNTech jab – can cause side effects, like any jab, certified the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). However, not everyone will develop side effects, but there are 14 you may be at risk of. These include:
- Pain at injection site
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
The above seven possible side effects of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine “may affect more than one in 10 people”.
Another three possible side effects may “affect up to one in 10 people”, and these are:
- Injection site swelling
- Redness at injection site
Although uncommon, one in 100 people may experience: enlarged lymph nodes or feel unwell.
One rare side effect, affecting up to one in 1,000 people, is when one side of the face temporarily droops.
Another reaction to the vaccine may be a severe allergic reaction, which is why you must tell the person administering the jab if you’ve ever had a severe allergic reaction.
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“In clinical studies with the vaccine, most side effects were mild to moderate in nature,” said the MHRA.
Most side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine “resolved within a few days, with some still present a week after vaccination”.
The common side effects of this vaccine are:
- Tenderness, pain, warmth, redness, itching, swelling or bruising where the injection is given
- Generally feeling unwell
- Feeling tired (fatigue)
- Chills or feeling feverish
- Feeling sick (nausea)
- Joint pain or muscle ache
Other common side effects – affecting up to one in 10 people – include:
- A lump at the injection site
- Being sick (vomiting)
- Flu-like symptoms, such as high temperature, sore throat, runny nose, cough and chills
Although uncommon, affecting up to one in 100 people, side effects may include:
- Feeling dizzy
- Decreased appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Excessive sweating, itchy skin or rash
If you’re concerned about any of the side effects of the vaccine, do talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.
Should you suffer from any side effects not listed above, and are concerned it’s an adverse reaction, you can report it on the Coronavirus Yellow Card.
“By reporting side effects, you can help provide more information on the safety of this vaccine,” said the MHRA.
The benefits of the vaccine
“The vaccine triggers the body’s natural production of antibodies and stimulates immune cells to protect against COVID-19 disease,” explained the MHRA.
The 10 new vaccination in the UK sites are at:
- Bournemouth International Centre
- Taunton Racecourse
- Blackburn Cathedral
- Salt Hill Activity Centre, Slough
- Norwich Foodcourt, Castle Quarter
- The Lodge, Wickford, Essex
- Princess Royal Sports Arena, Lincolnshire
- St Helens Rugby Ground
- Park and Ride at Askham Bar, York
- Olympic Office Centre, Wembley, London
The World Health Organisation (WHO) mentions how a population can achieve “herd immunity” through mass vaccination.
Vaccines train the immune system to create proteins (i.e. antibodies) that fight disease without making the vaccinated person sick.
“Vaccinated people are protected from getting the disease in question and passing on the pathogen, breaking any chains of transmission,” said the WHO.
To safely achieve herd immunisation against COVID-19, a substantial proportion of the population needs to be vaccinated.
“The percentage of people who need to be immune in order to achieve herd immunity varies with each disease,” added the WHO.
At present, the proportion of the population that must be vaccinated against coronavirus to begin inducting herd immunity “is not known”.
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