COVID vaccines are essential to beat the virus – but they can cause side effects after having the jab.
These are mostly nothing to be concerned about, but can cause discomfort.
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A patient after getting the Moderna jabCredit: Blumenthal et al/NEJM
People have reported getting skin reactions after having Covid jabsCredit: Blumenthal et al/NEJM
A study by allergists at Massachusetts General Hospital found almost two per cent of 49,197 who were jabbed reported skin reactions – making the side effects rare.
The research, published in JAMA Dermatology, concluded the reactions are rare and don’t often happen twice.
Experts found rashes and itching in another spot other than the injection site were the most common reaction.
Hives was the next most reported reaction to the jab. This is when a raised, itchy rash appears on the skin.
It may appear on one part of the body or be spread across large areas. The rash is usually very itchy and ranges in size from a few millimetres to the size of a hand.
Others suffered from swelling or angioedema, which is the swelling of areas of tissue under the skin, sometimes affecting the face and throat.
The study looked at Pfizer and Moderna jabs, which have the same messenger RNA process.
Overall both vaccines seemed to produce a similar number of reactions in each cohort.
The average age of people reporting a skin reaction was 41 years. with it more common in females.
Around 85 per cent of women suffered with a reaction after the jab, compared to 15 per cent of men.
White people also seemed to report issues more often, with 62 per cent saying they had a skin reaction.
Some suffered with rashes or itchiness but many didn’t again on the second jabCredit: Blumenthal et al/NEJM
The reactions didn’t seem to happen again with the second dose, with 83 per cent of the group that had itchiness or rashes first time around not reporting it with the final jab.
Kimberly G. Blumenthal, MD, MSc, co-director of the Clinical Epidemiology Program, said: “This is the first information we have on risk of recurrence of skin reactions after dose 2 when there is a dose 1 reaction.
“Our findings could provide critical reassurance to people with rashes, hives and swelling after dose 1 of their mRNA vaccines.”
Lead author Lacey B. Robinson, MD, MPH, an allergist and researcher at MGH, added skin reactions alone should not be a reason to skip the second dose, especially since most did not recur with the next dose.
She said: “For those that occur within hours of vaccination, or for severe reactions at any time, patients should see an allergist or immunologist who can evaluate and provide guidance on dose 2 vaccination.”
The side effect, dubbed “Covid arm” has occurred in a small number of patients in the US.
But they stressed that people with the harmless reaction should still get their second dose of the jab for optimal protection against Covid – around 95 per cent for the Moderna jab.
People reported getting rashes and feeling itchyCredit: Getty