Covid vaccine: What are the side effects of the spring booster jab?

Pop-up Covid Vaccine Centres Open Across Portsmouth

Worried about booster side effects? Here’s what they are (Picture: Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)

There are now a number of booster Covid-19 jabs available for people all across the UK.

Everyone over 16 is eligible to receive the third jab – or the first booster dose – three months after their second dose of the vaccine.

People with weakened immune systems are currently being contacted by the NHS for the fourth Covid-19 jab – and over 75s and care home residents are now eligible for a spring booster dose, too.

These booster doses aim to give longer-lasting protection against the virus.

But like any vaccine, there could, of course, be the odd annoying side effect from the booster.

What are those side effects, and how long are they expected to last?

What are the side effects of the Covid booster vaccine?

According to the UK Government and NHS, there are some common side effects to booster vaccines.

These include:

  • Sore arm or tenderness where the jab went in
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Feeling achy
  • Feeling sick
  • Mild flu-like symptoms

Flu-like symptoms can include a high temperature or feeling hot or shivery.

Side effects, if any, shouldn’t last longer one or two days – and typically no longer than a week.

If you find you’re getting worse or the symptoms aren’t subsiding, or you have any concerns, you can call the NHS using 111.

What if your booster vaccine is a different make?

Woman being vaccinated against Covid by nurse

You may receive a different type of booster to your first doses (Picture: Getty)

Firstly, it’s safe to have a booster jab from a different make/company than your original vaccine.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) over in the States says: ‘Mixing vaccines may enhance the immune response, and it increases flexibility for when people need a booster dose but doses of the vaccine they first received are not available.’

In the UK, the Government has adopted a mix and match approach to boosters, usually offering either Pfizer and Moderna.

Both have been proven effective by the Cov-Boost study, led by the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust – which has been looking at the effects of seven different vaccines given as boosters (or third jab).

They are also currently researching the effects of the next boosters (fourth jab) across the country, with a few sites still looking for participants.

However, you do need to get the same make of vaccine for your first two doses (first and second jab), unless you’ve had an allergic reaction to the first, according to the NHS.

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