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Thousands of people due second Covid jab four weeks earlier – full list of side effects

Fitness & Health:

Chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), Professor Wei Shen Lim, advised government to bring forward the second dose of the Covid vaccine from 12 to eight weeks. First, however, is the need that “every effort is made to promote vaccine uptake in those who remain unvaccinated in priority cohorts one to nine”. This includes everyone aged 50 and above, including over-16s who are either clinically extremely vulnerable or in an at-risk group. “Where vaccine supply allows, particularly in areas where B1.617.2 is a major threat, the second dose of vaccine should be brought forward from 12 to eight weeks,” confirmed Professor Lim.

The second dose of the Pfizer jab, in particular, is more likely to cause:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Headache

Clinical trials demonstrated that the Pfizer vaccine was 95 percent effective at preventing Covid illness in laboratory settings.

The Moderna jab – another mRNA vaccine – might cause the same side effects as the Pfizer vaccine.

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Where it differs, however, is that the Moderna vaccine is seemingly less effective at preventing illness from Covid.

In laboratory trials, the Moderna vaccine was 94.1 percent effective against Covid disease.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – a Government agency – said side effects are more common after the first dose of AstraZeneca.

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However, this doesn’t mean that some people won’t experience side effects after their second AstraZeneca jab. Side effects can include:

  • Feeling tired
  • Tenderness, bruising, pain or itching in the arm where you had the vaccine
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Redness or swelling where you had the injection
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • A low platelet count
  • Reduced appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Sweating
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Rash

“Very unusual blood clots with low platelets are a very rare side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine,” said the HSE.

The HSE said that between four to 10 people in every one million people who get the vaccine may develop a blood clot, which can lead to fatality.

“For people aged 50 and older, the risk of getting this side effect is very low,” confirmed the HSE.

Emphasising its point, the HSE added: “You are more than 30 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than get this very rare side effect if you are aged 50 or older.”

People classified as clinically extremely vulnerable:

  • Solid organ transplant recipients
  • People with specific cancers
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Severe asthma
  • Severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Rare diseases
  • Taking immunosuppressants
  • Spleen issues
  • Adults with Down’s syndrome
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • On diaylsis

At-risk groups:

  • A blood cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
  • Diabetes
  • Dementia
  • A heart problem
  • A chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma
  • A kidney disease
  • A liver disease
  • Lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as HIV infection, steroid medication, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or psoriasis (who may require long term immunosuppressive treatments)
  • Have had an organ transplant
  • Had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
  • A neurological or muscle wasting condition
  • A severe or profound learning disability
  • A problem with your spleen, example sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed
  • Are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above)
  • Are living with a severe mental illness
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