‘Emesis’ can be Covid booster vaccine side effect

‘Emesis’ can be Covid booster vaccine side effect

Coronavirus: Dr Hilary updates on second booster UK rollout

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One of the potential side effects is emesis.

While this term may sound unfamiliar, it is the clinical term for vomiting, defined as “the oral eviction of gastrointestinal contents of the gut and the muscles of the thoracoabdominal wall”, says a study from 2017.

As well as an unpleasant experience, it is a phenomenon that is a common symptom of many conditions from food poisoning to the consumption of too much alcohol.

It is also a common symptom of the COVID-19 vaccine and is one of several which recipients could expect once it has been administered.

According to the NHS, other side effects of the booster, include:
• Tenderness in the arm where you had your injection
• Feeling tired
• Headache
• Aches and chills
• Diarrhoea
• Nausea
• Mild flu-like symptoms.

The NHS adds: “These common side effects are much less serious than developing coronavirus or complications associated with coronavirus. They usually go away within a few days.

“If you feel uncomfortable, you can rest and take paracetamol. Make sure you take paracetamol as directed on the label or leaflet. Remember, do not take medicines that contain aspirin if you’re under 16 years of age.

“If your side effects seem to get worse or if you’re concerned, phone NHS 24 free on 111. Tell them about your vaccination so that they can assess you properly.”

While this wave of boosters may appear the same as other previous booster programmes, there is one key difference: the vaccines themselves.

This year, a new type of vaccine has entered the fray, one which can protect people from not one, but two forms of coronavirus.

Known as bivalent vaccines, these protect people both from the original variant of coronavirus and the original form of the Omicron variant, which spread through the country this time last year.

Although the virus has changed a great deal since Omicron first spread, the fact the vaccine can protect people from a close relation of the variant will help.

The United Kingdom was one of the first countries to approve the bivalent vaccine for use and the hope is that it will reduce transmission and help prevent many people from developing severe symptoms.

On the bivalent jabs, the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) says: “Studies indicate the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent vaccine produces a marginally higher immune response against some variants than the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA Original ‘wild-type’ vaccine.

“The clinical relevance of these small differences is uncertain. ‘Bivalent’ vaccines have been developed by global manufacturers since the emergence and dominance of the Omicron variant.

“These vaccines are targeted against antigens (substances that induce an immune response) from 2 different COVID-19 strains, or variants.”

On the bivalent vaccines, Professor Robin Shattock of Imperial College London said in a statement published by the NHS: “We anticipate that the bivalent booster vaccine will give people a broader response to the virus than previous boosters.

“By giving the immune system a bivalent vaccine that targets both the original and Omicron strains, we’re giving the immune system a wider diversity of targets, so it makes antibodies that are more effective as the virus will likely continue to change over time.”

Currently people can get their booster if they’re:
• Aged 50 and over
• Pregnant
• Aged five and over and at high risk due to a health condition
• Aged five and over and at high risk because of a weakened immune system
• Aged 16 and over and lives with someone who has a weakened immune system
• Aged 16 and over and is a carer, either paid or unpaid
• A frontline health and social care worker.

More information on boosters and vaccines can be found here.

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