The COVID-19 vaccination campaign to protect the population against the virus has had a hugely beneficial impact on reducing the spread of the virus. The vaccination roll-out has saved thousands of vulnerable individuals’ lives. With the vaccine protection, we will all be able to return to normality before long. However, many people (understandably) have concerns with, or questions regarding, the vaccine and its potential side effects. These worries about the COVID-19 vaccination may be particularly intense if you suffer from migraine. All vaccines have, of course, met standards set by MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) and are safe for use. That being said, they do occasionally produce side effects. It is important to educate yourself on what these side effects entail, and the way in which the benefits of the vaccinations outweigh potential drawbacks.
What are the side effects?
As with any treatments or preventative measures, some individuals may experience a few mild and temporary side effects. These often include:
- A sore or numb arm from the injection
- Tiredness or fatigue
- A headache
- Feeling sick or generally under-the-weather
There has been much news coverage of individuals suffering blood-clots after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. Research has shown that there are no links between an increased risk of blood-clots and the vaccine, although people with low levels of blood platelets have been found to suffer from very rare types of blood clots. It is important to remember, however, that these instances are very rare – the dangers from the COVID-19 virus itself still far outweigh potential side effects of the vaccine.
Will the vaccination affect my migraine?
As we have just seen, some people may experience a headache after receiving the vaccination. If this does happen, it is best to treat it with your usual medication (over-the-counter painkillers or your prescribed medication). Most individuals have found that their headache does not persist. If you do experience pain for an extended period of time, however, seek appropriate advice and treatments.
On the whole, there is a greater risk of severe headaches from COVID itself as opposed to the vaccine. Individuals who have contracted the virus have reported extensive periods of intense pain. With your own health (and health of the population at large) in mind, carefully consider the advantages of the vaccination. With some thought, you will be able to make the right decision to manage your migraine.