Covid: Top five symptoms after vaccination and signs you might have it

·4-min read
Covid: Top five symptoms after vaccination and signs you might have it

There are fears that Covid cases are already increasing in parts of the UK as Scotland has recorded spikes in infections, according to the latest figures.

In Scotland, 113,500 people were likely to have tested positive for Covid in the latest week, or one in 45 – up from 104,400, or one in 50, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Meanwhile, trends in both Wales and Northern Ireland were described by the ONS as “uncertain”.

The ONS estimated there were 881,200 people with coronavirus in private households across the UK in the week ending 5 September. That is down from 944,700 the week before, and the lowest total since the seven days to 25 September last year.

Dr Simon Clarke of the University of Reading said: “I think we should take this as a warning that infection numbers are likely to start increasing soon, where they haven’t already done so. Exactly what impact that’ll have on hospitals we can’t be certain of, because we don’t yet have a great feel for what society’s level of protection against severe disease will be.

“This could be made worse of course by coupling it with seasonal flu, which is something we’ve not yet experienced properly.”

There are also concerns that a devastating flu season is expected this winter which could combine with rising numbers of Covid cases to create a dangerous “twindemic”.

According to the latest findings by the Covid ZOE app, which surveys common symptoms among UK coronavirus sufferers, there are five signs of infection most common in fully vaccinated people.

Most common symptoms for the fully vaccinated

According to the platform’s findings, there were similar symptoms of Covid-19 reported by people who have and have not been vaccinated but fewer symptoms were reported over a shorter period of time by those who had recently had a jab, suggesting they were falling less seriously ill and recovering faster.

The most common symptom after two vaccinations was a runny nose. This is a symptom often overlooked as cold symptoms but according to the platform, it is best to get tested if the common side effect occurs.

Next on the list of the common symptoms among vaccinated Covid sufferers is headaches. This is followed by sneezing, soar throat and lastly a persistent cough, which was once a leading symptom when the pandemic began in 2020.

A runny nose and soar throat are among the most common symptoms in vaccinated people (AFP via Getty Images)
A runny nose and soar throat are among the most common symptoms in vaccinated people (AFP via Getty Images)

The previous ‘traditional’ symptoms as still outlined on the government website, such as anosmia (loss of smell), shortness of breath and fever rank way down the list, at 6, 29 and 8 respectively, the ZOE app said. A persistent cough now ranks at number 5 in people with two vaccine doses, so is no longer the top indicator of having Covid.

People who had been vaccinated and then tested positive for COVID-19 were more likely to report sneezing as a symptom compared with those without a jab.

Professor Azeem Majeed, the head of Public Health at Imperial College London, said vaccination will be “essential” to get through the winter period.

“There is a concern around ‘twindemic’, the last two winters we've seen high rates of covid due to omicron so it’s likely we'll see the same from covid again,” Professor Majeed told The Independent.

“At the same time flu rates have been quite low for the last few years because of all the measures brought in like face masks, home working, so we were quite fortunate but this winter we'll have normal social activities, people will be mixing much more so there's a chance they'll be high rates of flu.”

Professor Majeed urged people to get tested if they experience any Covid symptoms but conceded that the government made this more difficult after it stopped providing free test kits.

He warned that increasing public health warnings ahead of the autumn-winter season could help avoid soaring cases that would lead to another Covid wave.

Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, consultant epidemiologist for immunisation and countermeasures at the UKHSA, said: “With respiratory viruses increasing in circulation in the winter months, we can expect to see growing cases of Covid-19 in the coming weeks.

“We urge all who are contacted to come forward and accept their booster when called for their jab. The NHS booking system is now open for immunosuppressed people and those aged over 75.

“We also encourage everyone to keep helping to reduce the spread of the virus – meeting in well-ventilated spaces, washing hands regularly and staying away from others where possible if you have symptoms of a respiratory illness.”