Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine side effects - what are the most common?


More than 13 million people in the UK have now received their first doses of a Covid . The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was the first coronavirus vaccine to be approved for use in the UK, followed by the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine in late 2020. The UK has ordered 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, meaning many of the millions already vaccinated to date will likely have received a dose of the vaccine.

What are the common side effects of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine?

Not everyone will experience side effects when they have a Covid vaccine, but it is a possibility.

The AstraZeneca vaccine package leaflet, which is also available via the Government website, states most side effects were “mild to moderate in nature” during clinical studies.

The guidance added most side effects were “resolved within a few days”, however some were “still present a week after vaccination”.

Medicines containing paracetamol may be taken for some side effects from the vaccine, such as pain or fever.

Very common side effects of the vaccine, which may affect more than one in 10 people, include:

  • tenderness, pain, warmth, redness, itching, swelling or bruising where the injection is given
  • generally feeling unwell
  • feeling tired (fatigue)
  • chills or feeling feverish
  • headache
  • feeling sick (nausea)
  • joint pain or muscle ache

Common side effects, which may affect up to one in 10 people, include a lump at the injection site, fever, being sick (vomiting), or flu-like symptoms.

Flu-like symptoms can include a high temperature, sore throat, runny nose, cough and chills.

Uncommon side effects, which may affect up to one in 100 people, include feeling dizzy, decreased appetite, abdominal pain, enlarged lymph nodes, excessive sweating, itchy skin or a rash.

The Government guidance added: “In clinical trials there were very rare reports of events associated with inflammation of the nervous system, which may cause numbness, pins and needles, and/or loss of feeling.

“However, it is not confirmed whether these events were due to the vaccine.

“If you notice any side effects not mentioned in this leaflet, please inform your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.”