Covid Scotland: Are there side effects from vaccine jabs and how many people get them?

Fewer than one in 12 people reported negative side effects in the week after having a coronavirus vaccine, while almost half reported feeling better, a study has indicated.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 12:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 12:42 pm

Some 7.9 per cent of participants reported side effects that disrupted their daily activities, with the most common including fever, headaches and fatigue, according to the Vac4Covid study that recruited more than 12,000 people across the UK.

Forty-five per cent of study participants said they felt better in the seven days following their jab, according to the researchers from the University of Dundee’s School of Medicine.

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Empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 disease vaccine. Picture: Thomas Kienzle/AFP via Getty Images

Study clinical researcher Dr Amy Rogers said: “The side effects of Covid-19 vaccination have been a talking point, but the figure of 7.9 per cent is very much in line with what we expect from any vaccination, such as seasonal flu.

“That should make these results very reassuring for anybody still concerned about the possibility of side effects from their Covid-19 vaccination.

“These are just the sort of symptoms that we would expect at least some people to report after receiving an effective vaccine.”

The study also suggested the different vaccines used in the UK have slightly different side effect profiles.

People who have had the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine are more likely to report headaches and fatigue after their first dose than their second, while those who had the Pfizer-BioNTech jab tend to experience more side effects after their second dose, said researchers.

Vac4Covid chief investigator Professor Tom MacDonald said the study was completely independent with no involvement from vaccine makers, adding: “We believe this is important and means the public can have confidence in our findings.”