January 29, 2021 10.51 am This story is over 40 months old

COVID vaccine has “very few side effects,” says Lincolnshire health boss

2nd dose only adds 5-10% more immunity

The COVID-19 vaccine has “very few side effects,” and if you get some, it means the jab is working, a Lincolnshire health boss has said.

Professor Derek Ward, Director of Public Health for Lincolnshire County Council, also said he supports the longer vaccination gap between the first and second dose due to the second only adding an extra 5-10% immunity.

He said: “Giving two people one dose is far more effective than giving one person two doses […] The more people we vaccinate in the community, the more likely we are to drive down the underlying rate, and we’ll start to get vaccine herd immunity.”

“The difference between the protection you get from dose one to dose two is in the region of five to 10% tops. So you go from maybe 80 to 90% or 90 to 95% depending on the vaccine, as compared to two people going from zero to 80-90%.”

In relation to the side effects of the vaccine, Professor Ward said: “You go to the gym, you work out, lifting weights running whatever it is that night, the following day you’re often a bit sore. What that is, is your body responding to that and actually building muscle.

“It’s a similar sort of process often with vaccines, so if you do feel a little bit under the weather the following day, it’s probably because your body’s actually developing a very strong immune response, which is protecting even more.”

Lincolnshire County Council’s Director of Public Health Professor Derek Ward. | Photo: Lincolnshire County Council

Professor Ward also stressed the importance of getting the vaccine: “Regardless of which version [of the vaccine] you get, the differences are relatively small, especially when you’re looking at 21 days after the first dose.

“It is the only thing that will protect you from COVID that we have from a medical perspective, obviously hands, face, space is still vital, but it’s the only thing that works and it is tolerated extremely well, so very few side effects.

“My advice as the Director of Public Health is, if and when you are offered vaccine please, please, please have it. If you’ve got any concerns about the vaccine, talk to your health care provider because they’ll be able to talk through it.”

On Thursday, NHS England figures showed nearly 90,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Lincolnshire.

The data shows that of the doses given, 47,430 people under the age of 80 have received their first vaccination and another 1,182 have been given their second.

Janet Judson, 84, a retired nurse, was the first in Lincolnshire to get the COVID vaccine from lead nurse Leanne Belton. | Photo: ULHT