Coronavirus booster vaccine: The side effect that should be ‘looked into immediately’

Coronavirus booster jabs 'will keep virus at bay' says Javid

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The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. They give you the best possible protection against COVID-19, and whilst they are not 100 percent effective, they reduce hospitalisations by a great percentage. Having a third booster jab can further decrease your chances of severe illness.

Usually, major side effects from vaccines are rare and they do not often lead to serious illness.

According to the NHS, the COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.

However, for the first two doses, some common side effects include:

  • A sore arm from the injection
  • Feeling tired
  • A headache
  • Feeling achy
  • Feeling or being sick.

More serious side effects, such as allergic reactions or blood clotting, are very rare.

As the booster jab rolls out, it is important to be aware of the side effects, especially as they may vary from the first two jabs.

Much like the first two vaccines, side effects can often differ from person to person.

The most common symptoms reported to the Yellow Card scheme are muscle and joint pain in the arm the vaccine was injected into, chills, fatigue and a headache.

However, the NHS advises that “a high temperature and fever that lasts longer than a week should be looked into immediately and you should either contact your GP or call 111 if you experience this after your booster jab”.

The health provider recommends that if recipients of the jab start to suffer from a high temperature or feel hot over a week after the booster jab you should seek advice as “most side effects are mild and should not last longer than a week”.

Furthermore, you should not suffer a high temperature that lasts for more than a few days, a new continuous cough or differences in your senses of smell or taste from getting your booster jab.

If these experiences begin to arise, you may have COVID-19. If this is the case, you should stay at home and order a test, the NHS said.

Though you cannot catch COVID-19 from the booster vaccine, you may have caught it just before or after receiving the jab.

A recent study from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that out of the following side effects were the most common overall:

  • Injection site reactions
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches.

Whilst the study gives a lot more data on the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines – 12,000 people received either a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna shot, compared to the 48 people given two doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – the study gave some clarity into how the public is reacting to the booster shots outside of clinical trials.

The CDC said those who received three doses of the Pfizer or Moderna shots had localised reactions, such as pain, itchiness, or swelling at the injection site.

Less common side effects after dose three of the Moderna or Pfizer shots include muscle aches, fatigue and headaches, according to the CDC.

It comes as a report, today, announced that the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective at preventing hospital admission even with the delta variant.

Though its effectiveness against infection almost halves after six months, two doses of the jab are 90 percent effective against hospital admission for all variants for at least six months, according to the study. However, effectiveness against infection fell over the study period, dropping from 88 percent within one month of receiving the second dose to 47 percent after six months. 

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