UK health authorities continue to keep a watchful eye on the movements of COVID-19, with daily cases soaring ahead of winter. So far, high vaccination rates have managed to stem the tide of rising hospitalisation admissions and deaths. Key to containing the threat is the booster vaccination campaign, whereby high-risk groups receive a third dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna Covid jab to give their immunity levels a boost.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – the UK’s drugs watchdog – continues to monitor the side effects reported from the vaccines.
The MHRA has been reviewing reports of skin reactions occurring around the vaccination site that appear a little while after vaccination.
“These reactions are suggestive of a delayed hypersensitivity reaction that occurs 4-11 days after vaccination,” the health body reports.
The reactions are characterised “by a rash, swelling and tenderness that can cover the whole upper arm and may be itchy and/or painful and warm to the touch”, it says.
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According to the MHRA, the majority of the reports received have been with the Moderna vaccine and the product information for this vaccine has been updated to highlight the possibility of delayed injection site reactions.
The health body continues: “The reactions are usually self-limiting and resolve within a day or two, although in some patients it can take slightly longer to disappear.
“Individuals who experience this reaction after their first dose may experience a similar reaction in shorter timeframe following the second dose, however, none of the reports received have been serious and people should still take their second dose when invited.
“Those who experience delayed skin reactions after their COVID-19 vaccination which do not resolve within a few days should seek medical advice.”
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The reactions were reported as part of the Yellow Card scheme.
This is the MHRA’s scheme for healthcare professionals and members of the public to report suspected adverse reactions for a medicine or vaccine, as well as medical devices and other products.
It is worth nothing that side effects from the vaccine are generally mild and most people recover in the days following vaccination.
What’s more, the case for getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is a no-brainer for most people.
If you’re eligible, you’ll be offered a booster dose at least six months after you had your second 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.
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.