Five most common coronavirus vaccine side effects – including headache

The government is aiming for the 32million people in the top nine priority groups to be vaccinated against coronavirus by April 15.

The vaccine programme is well underway, with more than 24million people in the UK having received their first jab.

Currently two different Covid-19 vaccines are being used in the UK – the Pfizer//BioNTech jab and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Both vaccines require two doses to provide the maximum level of protection, with a maximum of 12 weeks between each injection.

Several countries have now temporarily suspended the use of AstraZeneca after concerns it could be linked to blood clots – but according to UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) there is “no evidence” of this, and people should still get their jabs.

But although there is no evidence of it being linked to blood clots, there are still a number of side effects which people could experience.

Here are the five most common side effects linked to the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs.

Most common coronavirus vaccine side effects

According to the NHS, most side effects of the Covid-19 vaccine are mild and shouldn’t last longer than a week.

The five most common side effects are:

a sore arm where the needle went in

  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy
  • feeling or being sick
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If you do experience any of these you can take painkillers, such as paracetamol. If your symptoms get worse, or you’re worried, you should call 111.

According to Professor Anthony Harnden, deputy chairman of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, women are more likely to get side effects from the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab.

But again, they should only last for a few hours and would be eased by taking paracetamol.

With the AstraZeneca jab he also said that people are more likely to get side effects from the first jab than the second one.

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Speaking on BBC Breakfast, he said: "The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine – for the first dose – seems to give quite a lot of minor side effects like: a very sore arm; fever; malaise; headache and sometimes chills which may last for up to 48 hours afterwards.

“They do seem to be more common in women and in younger women.”

About the Pfizer vaccine, he said: “It seems to be the reverse – side effects are more likely with the second vaccine.

"The message is once you've had your first Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine – if you do get some side effects which are unpleasant take some paracetamol.”

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