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Covid booster vaccine: More side effects likely for third jab – here is why

Boris Johnson issues warning about ‘blizzard’ of coronavirus

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Many people, however, received the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine, meaning their booster jab will be a different vaccine to the ones they have already had; unfortunately, such a mix could lead to more side effects. Research conducted by scientists at Oxford University found that mixing the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines lead more people to experience headaches, for example. The Com-COV study, as it is called, recruited 830 volunteers aged 50 and above across England.

Participants were given either two doses of AstraZeneca or Pfizer, with other volunteers given one of each.

Seven days following the jab, participants were asked how they felt following immunisation.

The results revealed that 65 percent of people experienced a headache when they had received doses of the AstraZeneca followed by Pfizer, or vice versa.

In addition, similar patterns were seen for joint pain, fever, and muscle aches.

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While the study did not investigate the impact of a third Covid jab (i.e. booster), it did suggest that sticking to the same vaccine type is more favourable when it comes to side effects.

Mixing vaccines, however, promote an immune response using different strategies.

While feeling under the weather for a day or two following vaccination is not wanted by anybody, a Covid booster still offers greater protection against the disease.

Peter Openshaw, Professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College, London, noted double doses of the Pfizer jab lead to the “best” antibody responses.

Furthermore, Professor Openshaw said that those with had the AstraZeneca followed by the Pfizer jab had the “best T-cell responses”.

“The study is reassuring that using a mixed vaccine approach is not only safe, but can potentially give immune responses that are as good or better than those induced by single vaccine regimens,” Professor Openshaw added.

Another study – spearheaded by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) – found that Covid boosters provided significant protection against symptomatic disease.

To demonstrate, two weeks following a Covid booster, protection against symptomatic infection was 93.1 per cent in those who had initially received AstraZeneca.

As for those who had the Pfizer vaccine, then the Covid booster, protection against symptomatic disease was even higher at 94 percent.

Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at the UKHSA, warned that in older age groups, “protection from the first two vaccines is beginning to wear off”.

“That is why it is critical that you come forward for your booster as soon as you become eligible,” she said.

“So we can drive down hospitalisations and deaths over the winter.”

The latest Coronavirus data

The Government’s latest UK summary shows that the number of people testing positive for Covid is on a sharp increase.

In the past seven days alone, there has been just over a 15 percent rise in the number of recorded infections.

Thankfully, statistics show that the number of patients admitted to hospital is still on the decline.

The number of deaths, too, is on the decline, showing the effectiveness of the vaccination programme.

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