Pfizer booster vaccine: Professor shares the three main side effects – safety update

NHS worker clashes with host over coronavirus vaccinations

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The NHS is urging those eligible to get their booster Covid vaccine to stem the rising tide of coronavirus hospitalisations this winter. Everyone aged 50 and over falls into the most eligible category and this cohort are being offered either the Pfizer or Moderna jab. The Pfizer booster dose is exactly the same as the first and second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

“The Moderna is half the dose because it is much stronger,” explained professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Study app, in his latest video.

Professor Spector issued a safety update on the booster vaccines and the possible side effects to expect.

“More than 240,000 of people have submitted data on the jabs and told us how you felt afterwards and whether you caught coronavirus afterwards,” he explained.

Prof Spector continued: “In terms if the side effects, really nothing to worry about it.”

Prof Spector and his team compared people aged over 50 who reported their first and second dose of Pfizer.

Generally side effects “got worse” from the first to the second dose, although they started at a low level – most people didn’t get side effects, he noted.

Referring to the booster shot, prof Spector said: “This time we have got something in the middle.

“Fourteen percent of users had systemic side effects, things like shivering, headaches, fatigue but that’s a relatively small proportion.

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“That compares with 10 percent on first jab and 16 percent on second jab. Certainly not getting worse.”

According to prof Spector, if you’re previously infected, you’re more likely to have a worse systemic response, which seems to be the same for the second doses.

The case to get vaccinated with a booster shot seems fairly conclusive.

Data indicates that recipients get a 95 percent protection after three doses of a Covid vaccine.

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.

You can also:

  • 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.

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

Some people may be offered a booster dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine if they cannot have the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine.

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