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Report vaccine side effects that last longer than 72 hours – MOH

Published:Friday | April 16, 2021 | 2:32 PM
A nurse administers the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to a member of the public at the vaccination blitz at the Portmore HEART Academy on Saturday, April 10, 2021 - Contributed photo.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness is urging persons to contact their health provider if side effects from the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine persist beyond 72 hours.

Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Director of Family Health Services in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr Melody Ennis, said that the expected side effects usually last for 24 to 48 hours.

“You might go up to 72 hours, but after that, you should be okay. If your symptoms persist beyond that, we are asking for you to contact your health department or doctor and state what is happening to you and we will document,” she said.

Ennis told JIS News that the side effects, though uncomfortable, are actually a good sign.

“It says that the body is working well and we are developing the antibodies or the germ-fighting tools that we are actually going to be using when the real germ comes in,” she pointed out.

In highlighting the possible side effects, the family health director told JIS News that “more than one in 10 persons who get the AstraZeneca vaccine may develop a fever. They may develop joint pains, muscle ache, feel very fatigued, and may develop a headache”.

The one-in-10 statistic also applies to the possibility of persons having a flu-like illness such as cough, sore throat, runny nose and vomiting.

“Then there are some symptoms which are a little rarer. They occur in one in 100 persons. They may have abdominal pain, decreased appetite, they may get a rash, they may also have some vomiting,” Ennis noted.

She pointed out that adverse reactions to a medication are usually immediate or in the short term.

She said that over the centuries of using vaccines, the side effects have not been found to project for longer than 60 days.

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