Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. Even if you do have symptoms after the first dose, you still need to have the second dose. Although you may get some protection from the first dose, having the full recommended course will give you the best protection against the virus.
You will always be given the opportunity to discuss any concerns about vaccination with a health professional across all our local vaccination sites in North Tyneside, and will be given written information to take away with you about the vaccine you have had and any potential 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. You can rest and take the normal dose of paracetamol (follow the advice in the packaging) to help make you feel better. However, a high temperature could also indicate that you have COVID-19 or another infection so please self-isolate and seek a COVID-19 test (as per the advice on our main COVID-19 information page) and contact a health professional if you are concerned (see below.)
These very common side effects listed above normally last less than a week. If your symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, call NHS 111. If you do seek advice from a doctor or nurse, make sure you tell them about your vaccination (show them the vaccination card) so that they can assess you properly. You can also report suspected side effects of vaccines and medicines through the Yellow Card scheme. You can do this online by searching Coronavirus Yellow Card or by downloading the Yellow Card app https://coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk
7th April 2021: MHRA issues new advice, concluding a possible link between Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca and extremely rare, unlikely to occur blood clots.
The benefits of vaccination continue to outweigh any risks but the MHRA advises careful consideration be given to people who are at higher risk of specific types of blood clots because of their medical condition. As a precaution, administration of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in people of any age who are at higher risk of blood clots because of their medical condition should be considered only if benefits from the protection from COVID-19 infection outweighs potential risks.
Anyone who experienced cerebral or other major blood clots occurring with low levels of platelets after their first vaccine dose of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine should not have their second dose. Anyone who did not have these side effects should come forward for their second dose when invited.
The MHRA recently confirmed that the evidence to date does not suggest that the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca causes venous thromboembolism without a low platelet count. It is important to note that this type of blood clot together with lowered platelets can rarely occur naturally in unvaccinated people as well as in people with COVID-19 disease.
While the MHRA continues to investigate these cases, as a precautionary measure anyone that develops these symptoms below after vaccination is advised to seek prompt medical advice:
- shortness of breath, chest or persistent abdominal pain, leg swelling
- blurred vision, confusion or seizures
- unexplained pin-prick rash or bruising beyond the injection site
Furthermore anybody with new onset of severe or persistent headache that does not respond to simple painkillers starting four days or more after vaccination should speak to their doctor.
For more information about this latest advice from MHRA please click here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mhra-issues-new-advice-concluding-a-possible-link-between-covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca-and-extremely-rare-unlikely-to-occur-blood-clots#history