Pfizer booster vaccine: The ‘severe’ side effect that may follow the third jab – CDC

Coronavirus booster vaccine rollout 'extremely slow' says King

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Those most at-risk from COVID-19 are being offered a booster shot of a Covid vaccine if it’s been six months since they received their second dose. The decision to offer a third dose is informed by data which shows a decline in protection levels over six months and the looming threat posed by winter, where a resurgent coronavirus could wreak havoc. The booster vaccines have been shown to be overwhelmingly efficacious and safe.

Nonetheless, it is incumbent on health authorities to keep a close eye on any adverse reactions that may crop up.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been releasing a weekly report documenting the side effects of mRNA Covid vaccines Moderna and Pfizer.

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines employ mRNA technology created in a laboratory to teach our cells how to make a protein – or even just a piece of a protein – that triggers an immune response inside our bodies.

According to the CDC report, among those who reported pain after dose three of an mRNA vaccine, most reactions were mild or moderate.

“Severe pain (defined as pain that makes daily activities difficult or impossible) was reported by 637 (6.7 percent),” reports the health body.

Generally, the CDC report found that people who’d received three doses of either Pfizer or Moderna saw more local reactions after the third dose.

These included:

  1. Pain
  2. Itchiness
  3. Redness
  4. Swelling at the injection site.

Other side effects such as fatigue, muscle aches, or headaches were less common, affecting 74 percent after their third dose, compared with 77 percent after dose two.

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The case for getting the booster vaccine is hard to refute.

A study published last month found that it slashed the rate of severe disease in Israel.

A week after being given the third jab, a person’s risk of needing hospital treatment was 93 percent lower than someone with a similar profile, but only two shots.

Health authorities are urging those eligible to get their booster shot ahead of winter. It comes amid concerns that the uptake has been too sluggish.

Are you eligible?

Booster vaccine doses will be available on the NHS for people most at risk from COVID-19 who have had a second dose of a vaccine at least six months ago.

This includes:

  • People aged 50 and over
  • People who live and work in care homes
  • Frontline health and social care workers
  • People aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
  • People aged 16 and over who are a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19
  • People aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis).

People who are pregnant and in one of the eligible groups can also get a booster dose.

  • Most people can:
  • Book a vaccination appointment online for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy
  • Go to a walk-in vaccination site to get vaccinated without needing an appointment
  • Wait to be contacted by a local NHS service such as a GP surgery and book an appointment with them.

People who work for an NHS trust or a care home will usually get their booster dose through their employer.

If you have not received an invite but it’s been six months and one week (190 days) since your second dose, you can try to book your appointment online without an invite.

Most people will be offered a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or Moderna vaccine.

This means your booster dose may be different from the vaccines you had for your first and second doses.

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