After Covid Vaccination

Information for after your AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccination

Today your community pharmacist has given you the COVID-19 AstraZeneca Vaccine. Congratulations on taking this vital step in protecting yourself, your family, and your community from COVID-19.

What to expect after vaccination

You may experience some mild side effects following vaccination. Most side effects last no more than a couple of days and you will recover without any problems.

Common side effects after the COVID-19 AstraZeneca Vaccine include:

  • pain, swelling, tenderness, warmth, redness or itching at the injection site
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • nausea (feeling sick)
  • fever and chills
  • feeling unwell
  • joint pain

Less common side effects after the COVID-19 AstraZeneca Vaccine include:

  • enlarged lymph nodes
  • pain in limb
  • dizziness
  • decreased appetite
  • stomach pain

These side effects are usually mild, and start within a day after the vaccination and go away within one or two days. They can be managed by resting and using a pain medicine such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, or a cold compress if needed. Your pharmacist can assist with advice. If after a few days of the vaccine you have new or unexpected symptoms or you have an expected side effect listed above that has not gone away, you should seek medical advice from your doctor or healthcare professional. Be sure to tell them that you have recently received the COVID-19 AstraZeneca Vaccine.

Serious reactions such as allergic reactions are extremely rare and usually occur within 15 minutes of receiving your vaccine, which is why you are asked to wait in the pharmacy afterwards. After you leave the pharmacy, call 000 if you think you are having an allergic reaction and experiencing severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, a fast heartbeat or collapsing.

Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) is a very rare immune response that may happen after receiving the COVID-19 AstraZeneca Vaccine. It involves blood clotting (thrombosis) in different parts of the body and bleeding due to low platelet levels (thrombocytopenia). People with this condition can become very unwell and may need to go to hospital. This condition can lead to long-term disability, and even death. TTS is treatable if detected early and most people make a full recovery.

You should attend your nearest Emergency Department or call 000 if you have any of the following symptoms, particularly around 4 to 42 days after vaccination:

  • severe, persistent headaches that are different to your “usual” headaches, become worse when bending over or lying down and do not settle with paracetamol or other pain medicines
  • blurred vision
  • difficulty with speech (e.g. slurred words)
  • weakness of face or limbs
  • confusion or seizure
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • persistent abdominal pain
  • leg pain or swelling
  • pin-prick rash or bruising not at the injection site that cannot be explained
     

Further information and side-effect checker is available

More information about Covid Vaccination can be found here