AstraZeneca vaccine side effects: Six coronavirus-like side effects that may follow jab

Vaccine ‘more effective than our wildest dreams’ says expert

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The UK Government aims to offer everyone in the UK at least the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of summer. The successful rollout of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca jabs in the UK so far makes this target seem plausible. In regards to the latter, there have been reports of cold-like side effects following vaccination.

In clinical trials, some people have reported a sudden feeling of cold with shivering/shaking accompanied by a rise in temperature, possibly with sweating and headache (including migraine-like headaches), reports Public Health England (PHE).

According to PHE, other cold-like side effects reported include:

  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches and feeling unwell.

These side effects typically started within a day of having the vaccine and usually lasting for a day or two, notes PHE.

Experiencing any of the above side effects will doubtless cause confusion for many people as they are strikingly similar to coronavirus symptoms.

“If your fever is high and lasts longer than two or three days, or you have other persistent symptoms, this might not be due to side effects of the vaccine and you should follow appropriate advice according to your symptoms,” advises PHE.

How to respond to coronavirus symptoms

According to the NHS, the main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.

If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), get a test as soon as possible.

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You and anyone you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.

Anyone in your support bubble should also stay at home if you have been in close contact with them since your symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started.

A support bubble is where someone who lives alone (or just with their children) can meet people from one other household.

When can I expect to receive a coronavirus vaccine?

The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.

In England, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and pharmacies, at local centres run by GPs and at larger vaccination centres.

More centres are opening all the time.

It’s being given to:

  • People aged 50 and over
  • People at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • People who live or work in care homes
  • Health and social care workers
  • People with a condition that puts them at higher risk (clinically vulnerable)
  • People with a learning disability
  • People who are a main carer for someone at high risk from coronavirus.

The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

You must wait to be contacted – the NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine.

It’s important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.

If you’re eligible, you do not need to wait to be contacted by the NHS.

“If you’ve had a positive COVID-19 test, you should wait four weeks from the date you had the test before you book an appointment,” advises the NHS.

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