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Covid vaccine side effects: The side effects to expect from the second jab – Dr Chris


The UK’s vaccination effort is operating at breakneck speed, thanks in part to the decision early on to administer only the first shot for now. Both the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines require a two-shot regimen to confer maximum resistance. Many questions abound, such as whether the side effects will differ the second time around. Speaking on BBC News on Saturday, virologist Dr Chris Smith was quick to allay concerns, suggesting the side effects should be “fleeting” after the second shot. 

Dr Chris was responding to concerns that one could be more prone to painful side effects the second time around if experienced the first time.

“If you’ve made an immune response to the first dose of your vaccine, when you then get the second dose, your body will probably deal with it so quickly that any side effects will be fleeting,” he said.

As a result, Dr Chris anticipates most people will get fewer side effects the second time.

Responding specifically to severe side effects, he suggested the jury is out on whether the experience will be the same the second time around. 

READ MORE: Covid vaccine side effects: Fever, nausea and diarrhoea are three serious side effects

“We don’t know yet if people that get more severe side effects the first time are destined to get more severe side effects the second time or any side effects all,” said Dr Chris.

What are the commonly reported side effects?

The side effects of the vaccines continue to be logged in the COVID Symptom Study app, which analysis and reports on data submissions from its users.

The team behind the app identified some common side effects.

Users reported experiencing pain, swelling, redness or itchiness at the site of the injection, or swelling of the glands (lymph nodes) in the armpit.

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As the team pointed out, while they may make you feel grotty, all these effects are a sign that your immune system is kicking into action to protect you from COVID-19.

“At the same time, don’t worry if you don’t experience any of these effects after your vaccine,” they said.

“Your immune system will still be learning to respond to the virus – it’s just not making a fuss about it.‍”

Vaccine rollout latest

Yesterday Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the next phase of the UK’s vaccine rollout.

Vaccination process – how it works

The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination.

The vaccine is being offered at larger vaccination centres, pharmacies and some local NHS services such as hospitals or GP surgeries.

You do not need to wait to be contacted if any of the following apply:

  • You are aged 64 or over
  • You have previously received a letter saying you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • You are an eligible frontline health worker
  • You are an eligible frontline social care worker
  • You get Carer’s Allowance.

You can book appointments at a larger vaccination centre or a pharmacy that provides COVID-19 vaccinations.





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