Coronavirus vaccine side effects: Seven side effects ‘easily confused’ with COVID-19 signs

Coronavirus vaccine side effects: Seven side effects ‘easily confused’ with COVID-19 signs

Phil Schofield ponders sending UK vaccine supplies to India

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More than 33 million arms have now been jabbed with a coronavirus vaccine in the UK, marking the most ambitious public health campaign in modern history. The unprecedented effort has generated a number of firsts. More than ever, people are interested in and possibly concerned about the side effects that they may encounter post-vaccination.

An added dimension of getting vaccinated with a Covid jab is that many of the side effects resemble COVID-19 symptoms.

To help separate the two, the researchers behind the ZOE COVID Symptom Study app have analysed data on more than one million contributors who have logged their jabs in the app.

From this they’ve been able to look in detail at the effects and impact of COVID-19 vaccines and compare them with the symptoms of COVID-19.

According to team, the vaccine side effects “easily confused” with COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Chills or shivers
  • Muscle or joint pains
  • Diarrhoea
  • Feeling sick (nausea).

“These peak around 24 hours after your jab and stick around for a day or two,” explained the app researchers.

This is a major point of difference with COVID-19 symptoms.

The Covid app team explain: “Vaccine after effects usually only last for a short period of time, and disappear within a day or two.

“If you’re still feeling unwell several days after your jab, you should self isolate and get a test to check whether you have COVID-19.”

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As they pointed out, loss of smell (anosmia) and persistent cough are not vaccine after effects, but are two of the most common signs of COVID-19.

If you develop either of these symptoms it’s important to self isolate and get a test as soon as possible.

Current public health advice says to get a PCR test (test that is sent to a lab) to check if you have COVID-19 as soon as possible.

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 childcare or 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.

What if I get symptoms again?

According to the NHS, if you get symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) again, you must self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test.

You should also self-isolate again if:

  • Someone you live with gets symptoms
  • Someone in your childcare or support bubble gets symptoms and you were in close contact with them since their symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started.

The person with symptoms should get a test.

According to public health advice, you must self-isolate again even if you’ve had a positive test result for COVID-19 before.

You probably have some immunity to the virus but it’s not clear how long it lasts.

Self-isolation is when you do not leave your home because you have or might have coronavirus (COVID-19).

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