More than 32 million people in the UK have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. The ramped-up effort to inoculate the population is unprecedented, which means many questions have arisen. Side effects of the coronavirus vaccines have been a hot topic, with many people wondering whether it is safe to take paracetamol to alleviate symptoms.
What are the common side effects?
Very common side effects in the first day or two include:
- Having a painful, heavy feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection
- Feeling tired
- Headache, aches and chills.
“You may also have flu-like symptoms with episodes of shivering and shaking for a day or two,” explains Public Health England (PHE).
However, according to the PHE, a high temperature could also indicate that you have COVID-19 or another infection.
“An uncommon side effect is swollen glands in the armpit or neck on the same side as the arm where you had the vaccine,” says the health body.
It adds: “This can last for around 10 days, but if it lasts longer see your doctor.”
According to data collected on effects of the coronavirus vaccines, symptoms normally last less than a week.
If your symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, call NHS 111.
You can also report suspected side effects of vaccines and medicines online through the Yellow Card scheme or by downloading the Yellow Card app.
The Yellow Card scheme is the system for recording adverse incidents with medicines and medical devices in the UK.
Am I eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine?
Everyone aged 45 and over can get the COVID-19 vaccine.
You can book appointments at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy now, or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service.
People at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable), can also get the COVID-19 vaccine.
If you’re at high risk, you will have had a letter from the NHS saying you’re clinically extremely vulnerable.
If you’ve had this letter, you can book appointments at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy now, or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service.
If you are not eligible yet, 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.