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Covid vaccine side effects: The three life-threatening signs of an allergic reaction

Coronavirus Act extended for a further six months

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Whether you get the AstraZeneca, BioNTech, or Moderna vaccine (rolled out from April) is not up to you. However, none of these Covid vaccinations are appropriate for certain sub-sections of society. Who are they? The British Government released a document detailing the warning signs of a life-threatening reaction to the BioNTech Covid vaccine. In the prescription leaflet – also available on the Pfizer/BioNTech website – three signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • An itchy skin rash
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the face or tongue

Any signs of an allergic reaction need to be examined by a medical professional straight away.

“Contact your doctor or healthcare professional immediately,” it detailed, “or go to the nearest hospital emergency room”.

This is because an allergic reaction to the Covid vaccine “can be life-threatening”.

People who are allergic to the following ingredients should not be given the BioNTech vaccine:

  • Potassium chloride
  • Potassium dihydrogen phosphate
  • Sodium chloride
  • Disodium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate
  • Sucrose

Those administering the vaccine have been trained to spot and quickly respond if anyone has an allergic reaction.

Do tell the vaccinator if you’ve had an allergic reaction to previous injections of any kind.

There are seven commons side effects of the BioNTech Covid vaccine, which are:

  • Pain at injection site
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Joint pain
  • Fever

It’s not known how many people will develop a severe allergic reaction from the data available.

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The whole purpose of a Covid vaccination is to “trigger the body’s natural production of antibodies and stimulates immune cells to protect against COVID-19 disease”.

At present, BioNTech has been authorised for people aged 16 and above.

This means the vaccine “is not recommended for children under 16 years” – although this may change.

Pregnant women are advised to “ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before receiving the vaccine”.

Seeking approval from medical staff extends to mothers breast-feeding and those planning to have a baby.


The AstraZeneca Covid vaccine is used to protect people aged 18 and older against Covid.

An adverse reaction to this jab also entails an itchy skin rash, shortness of breath and swelling of the face or tongue.

The prescription leaflet for AstraZeneca noted that vaccinators should be made aware of the following before administering the jab:

  • If you’ve ever had a severe allergic reaction to another vaccine
  • If you currently have a severe infection with a high temperature
  • If you’re taking blood thinning medication
  • If you have an immunodeficiency
  • If you’re taking immunosuppressants, high-dose corticosteroids or cancer medication

“If you are not sure if any of the above applies to you, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse before you are given the vaccine,” it read.

The same advice given by BioTech for pregnant women – and those trying to have a baby – applies to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“There is limited data on the use of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in pregnant or breastfeeding women,” it explained.

“Your doctor, pharmacist or nurse will discuss with you whether you can be given the vaccine.”

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  • Posted on March 30, 2021