Covid booster ’enough to stop serious infection’ says expert

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The Covid vaccine rollout in the UK continues, with over 65s being currently offered their top-up jabs. The vaccine has been linked to plenty of benefits, ranging from a lower risk of catching coronavirus to preventing death from the virus. But just like any medicine, Covid vaccines are also linked to some possible side effects. Fortunately, an expert has shared how to ease them.

Currently, autumn Covid booster is being offered to people over 65, those who are immunosuppressed, and frontline healthcare workers.

Pharmacy2U’s superintendent pharmacist, Phil Day, said: “While we have largely returned to normal life, there is still a chance of those most vulnerable becoming seriously ill with the COVID-19 virus.

“Many respiratory infections, including COVID-19 and flu, are expected to be circulating at high levels this winter.”

That’s why experts stress it’s essential to get your immunisation if you’re eligible. But you might be wondering what side effects might crop up after.

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While Covid jabs can cause certain side effects, not everyone will experience these unwanted signs, according to the NHS.

The pharmacist has shared the most “common” problems that might occur after your autumn dose. These include:

  • A painful feeling and tenderness in the arm where you had your injection, tending to be worst around one to two days after receiving the vaccine.
  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Achiness, or flu-like symptoms.

Day said: “The common side effects are the same for all COVID-19 vaccines used in the UK, including the new combined vaccination, but not everybody gets them.”

While these signs tend to be mild in the majority of patients, they still might feel unpleasant so the pharmacist offered some tips on easing them.

Day said: “If necessary, you can rest and take paracetamol (follow the advice in the packaging) to help you feel better.

“Although a fever (high temperature) can occur for one or two days after vaccination, if you have any other COVID-19 symptoms or if your fever lasts longer, stay at home and arrange a test.

“Any side effects following vaccination typically last less than a week.

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“If you experience any and they seem to get worse or if you’re concerned, you can call NHS 111 or talk to your pharmacist.”

Who is eligible for the COVID-19 autumn booster?

You can get your extra Covid jab this autumn if:

  • You’re over 65 years old
  • You’re living in residential care homes for older adults
  • You’re over the age of 5 and have underlying health conditions that put you at higher risk of severe COVID-19
  • You’re a frontline health or social worker.

Day added: “The NHS will invite you to book your appointment when it’s your turn to have the booster.”

How to book a Covid booster

Patients who are eligible can book online through the NHS National Booking System, by calling 119, or they can visit their local walk-in clinic.

Don’t forget to check if your local site is still open before visiting as many walk-ins have closed since the initial vaccination roll-out.

Remember, you should leave at least 12 weeks between your last dose and a booster.

The expert also added that it’s safe to have your flu jab at the same time as your Covid top-up.

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