Covid vaccines: New research finds AstraZeneca jab causes more side effects than Pfizer

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Whether you get the AstraZeneca or Pfizer jab isn’t a decision made by the public. Whatever you’re eligible for at that time, given the jabs in stock in your area, will determine which Covid vaccine you get. However, brand-new research from King’s College London have revealed that more people feel side effects after having the AstraZeneca jab. Lead scientist, Professor Tim Spector reassured the public that the “after effects of the vaccine are usually mild and short-lived”.

This seems to be especially true in the over 50s, who are most at risk of the infection.

“The results also show up to 70 percent protection after three weeks following a single dose, which is fantastic news for the country,” Spector added.

The first large-scale study to compare the two vaccines has identified the prevalence of side effects.

Systemic side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Chills and shiver
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fever
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle aches and pain
  • Nausea

Local side effects include:

  • Pain at the site of the injection
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Itch
  • Warm
  • Swollen armpit glands

One key finding is that 13.5 percent of vaccinated people reported side effects after the first Pfizer dose.

This increased to 22 per cent of people experiencing side effects following the second Pfizer dose.

Meanwhile, over a third of people who received the AstraZeneca dose (33.7 percent) noted down that they had side effects after the first jab.

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These data sets come from 627,383 users of the ZOE COVID Symptom Study app.

All side effects are self-reported within eight days of receiving the vaccines between December 8 to March 10.

The most reported side effect was a headache, followed by fatigue and local injection site tenderness.

Importantly, the research identified that side effects were more common among those under the age of 55, and among women.

In addition, participants who had a confirmed Covid infection before the vaccine were more likely to suffer from greater side effects.

People who had Covid beforehand were three times more likely to have “whole body” side effects after having the Pfizer vaccine.

This risk of side effects doubled if you had a previous Covid infection and was given the AstraZeneca jab.

The research pointed out that the rates of side effects were much lower than expected from clinical trials.

Dr Cristina Menni, the first author of the study, commented on the findings.

“Our results support the after-effects safety of both vaccines with fewer side effects in the general population than reported in the Pfizer and AstraZeneca experimental trials.”

Dr Men hopes this “should help allay safety concerns of people willing to get vaccinated”.

The study, with analysis provided by King’s College London, was published today in the Lancet Infectious Disease journal.

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