Moderna headache: The common side effects to watch out for after each Covid vaccine dose

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Moderna vaccine side effects are not uncommon amongst the vaccinated population. Flu-like symptoms including headaches and fever have been found as a common symptom of both the initial coronavirus vaccinations and the booster shot – but at which point are you most likely to experience these uncomfortable side effects?

Headaches are a common side effect of COVID-19 vaccines and have been linked to all three of the UK’s leading vaccines.

While Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna have all been approved for safe use across the world, side effects are a natural reaction to vaccinations.

According to National Geographic, vaccination side effects are caused by a flurry of white blood cells which rush to the site of injection.

Chemicals called cytokines are produced by the white blood cells which triggers a range of symptoms ranging from inflammation and swelling, to fever.

Common side effects of the Moderna vaccine

Moderna shares a number of similar side effects to other vaccines which can range from mild to severe – though intense symptoms are less frequently reported. said ‘very common’ (affects more than one in 10 people )symptoms of this vaccine include:

  • Swelling and tenderness of the underarm glands
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle ache, joint aches and stiffness
  • Pain or swelling at injection site
  • Fatigue – feeling very tired
  • Chills
  • Fever

Other symptoms which may affect up to one in 10 people include diarrhoea, rash, redness or hives at the injection site.

Most common symptoms after first dose

Side effects can occur at any point of the vaccination course, which includes three doses in the UK.

Current trends in vaccinations imply that side effects are more intense following a larger dose of the vaccine – so it is possible that symptoms could worsen with each dose.

According to Business Insider, the most common side effects of the first dose of the Moderna vaccine include injection-site pain, fatigue and headaches as the most prominent symptoms.

A study of people aged 18-64 found that 87 percent of recipients of the Moderna vaccine reported injection site pain, 39 percent experienced fatigue and 35 percent battled headaches.

Headaches were less common in groups aged 65 and older, with just one quarter of people experiencing them after their first dose of Moderna.

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Common side effects of second Moderna vaccine

A study by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention found that side effects throughout the body (such as fever, chills, tiredness and headache) are more common after the second dose of the vaccine.

The Business Insider study found that in people aged 65 and above, headaches were almost twice as common after the second dose:

  • 46 percent of this age group reported headaches
  • 58 percent experienced fatigue
  • 83 percent felt pain at the injection site

Injection site pain was common in 90 percent of double-jabbed Moderna recipients who were aged between 18-64, with 63 percent of this group also experiencing headaches.

On the whole, side effects were more commonly reported in this younger age bracket after the second dose.

Side effects of Moderna vaccine booster

The UK’s booster vaccine campaign is being rapidly rolled out across the country to everyone aged 18 and over.

Moderna and Pfizer are the leading vaccine manufacturers spearheading the booster programme.

The Food and Drug Administration recognises that side effects from the third injection are often similar to those associated with the initial two doses.

Despite recent concerns over the link between myocarditis and pericarditis with the Moderna vaccine, new evidence from Israel suggested that these two rare heart problems are less common after the booster than the first two doses.

This makes the overall risk of suffering from inflammation of the heart very small following the final dose of a course of the Moderna vaccine.

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