Information post Pfizer (Cominarty) vaccine
Thank you for taking an important step in moving towards a safer community
First of all, our team would like to thank you for taking the time and making the effort to come and receive the vaccine. We understand it’s a stressful experience, and appreciate your patience with us. You are also now on your way to being safer from contracting and transmitting COVID-19 and have reduced your risk of significant illness.
It takes about 2 weeks after your dose of vaccine to achieve maximal immunity from it, so it’s important to continue practising COVID-19 safety to reduce your risk of exposure.
Below are some resources for information about your vaccination. This would all have been included in your consent form, but we realise it’s not always handy to dig that up. So please bookmark this page for future reference.
What to expect after vaccination
As with any vaccine, you may have some side effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Common side effects after Pfizer Comirnaty include:
- pain or swelling at the injection site
- muscle pain
- fever and chills
- joint pain
Less common side effects after Pfizer Comirnaty include:
- redness at the injection site
- enlarged lymph nodes
- feeling unwell
- pain in limb
- itching at the injection site.
These side effects are usually mild and usually, go away within one or two days. Some recipients will experience more significant flu-like symptoms from this vaccination compared to other common vaccinations and may require time away from normal activities.
These symptoms may occur after either dose but are more common after the second dose. If you experience pain at the injection site or fever, headaches or body aches after vaccination, you can take paracetamol or ibuprofen. These help to reduce some of the above symptoms (you do not need to take paracetamol or ibuprofen before vaccination).
If there is swelling at the injection site, you can use a cold compress.
Rare side effects that have been reported after Comirnaty are:
- severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).
Very rare side effects that have been reported after the Pfizer Cominarty are:
- Myocarditis or pericarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle or the casing of the heart muscle)
You should seek medical attention after vaccination if:
- you think you have an allergic reaction. Call 000 if you experience severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, a fast heartbeat or collapsing
- you are worried about a potential side effect or have new or unexpected symptoms
- you have an expected side effect of the vaccine which has not gone away after a few days.
- you are experiencing chest pain, palpitations (irregular heartbeat), syncope (fainting) or shortness of breath – as these may be symptoms of pericarditis or myocarditis
For symptoms that are not urgent, you can see your regular healthcare provider (usually your GP). If we are your regular GP – you can make an appointment to see us (the way you usually would) – however, if you only came here for the vaccination please make an appointment with your regular GP as they will know your past history best.
Myocarditis and Pericarditis following Pfizer Cominarty vaccination
- A risk of myocarditis and pericarditis has been observed in people who have received mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in overseas studies, particularly in males under 30 years of age after the second vaccine dose.
- This association is based on data from the USA and Europe, where these mRNA vaccines have been extensively used.
ATAGI and CSANZ emphasise that the overwhelming benefits of vaccination in protecting against COVID-19 greatly outweigh the rare risk of these conditions, and Comirnaty (Pfizer mRNA vaccine) continues to be recommended for all people ≥ 16 years of age who do not have any contraindications to the vaccine, in those aged 12-15 with specific medical conditions that increase their risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 12-15.
- COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is not associated with an increased risk of myocarditis/pericarditis. Cases have been reported after this vaccine, however, have not been reported more frequently than what is expected in the absence of vaccination (the ‘background rate’).
- Most myocarditis and pericarditis cases linked to mRNA vaccination have been mild and patients have recovered quickly. Longer-term follow-up of these cases is ongoing.
- Symptoms typically appear within 1-5 days of vaccination and include chest pain, palpitations (irregular heartbeat), syncope (fainting) or shortness of breath.
People who experience any of these symptoms after having an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine should seek prompt medical attention.
Initial investigations for people presenting with symptoms or signs of myocarditis or pericarditis should include ECG, troponin, chest X-ray, and other investigations for other differential diagnoses as clinically indicated.
Thank you again
We know it’s a really tough and stressful time, and we’re glad you trusted us to help with this really important public health measure.
Green Square Health is a GP clinic also, and if you are looking for a regular doctor, we’re still accepting new patients (in a COVID-safe way).
If you want to learn more visit gshealth.com.au, or you can sign up for our regular newsletter for updates about general health, information about our services and any other important healthcare-related news. We promise we don’t send them out too frequently, and you can always opt-out.
We won’t be sending you any more emails as per this vaccine unless you had already signed up for our regular email. To sign up please visit www.gshealth.com.au/contact-us/