Why DO so many people not feel a thing with their first AstraZeneca jab… but are more aware of the needle going in for their second dose?
- Evidence suggests many people barely notice their first jab being administered
- But they are much more aware of the needle going in for their second dose
- Phenomenon is unrelated to side effects and has not been properly studied
When Boris Johnson received his first dose of the AstraZeneca jab in March, he proudly declared that he ‘didn’t feel a thing’ – and it seems others had a similar experience.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that many people barely notice their first jab being administered, but are much more aware of the needle going in for their second dose.
The phenomenon is unrelated to side effects, which have been forensically monitored, and has not been properly studied.
But one man in his 40s from Epping, Essex, said: ‘I usually turn my head away when I have an injection because I don’t like seeing the needle go in, but when I had my first AstraZeneca jab I had to look at my arm since I hadn’t felt a thing. It was different for the second dose when I felt a little scratch, like any other injection.
‘A few friends have mentioned the same happened to them. It’s all rather mysterious.’
When Boris Johnson received his first dose of the AstraZeneca jab in March (pictured), he proudly declared that he ‘didn’t feel a thing’ – and it seems others had a similar experience
A 58-year-old man from Brighton added: ‘I was still sitting, waiting for my first jab when I was told it had been done and I could go. I hadn’t felt even the tiniest scratch. The second time around, I was definitely aware of the needle going in, although it didn’t hurt.
‘Almost everyone I know has said the same thing.
‘On the other hand, I haven’t had any side effects since the second vaccine – after feeling headachey and under the weather for three days after the first.’
Anecdotal evidence suggests that many people barely notice their first jab being administered, but are much more aware of the needle going in for their second dose (file image)
Similar experiences have been reported on social media. ‘Second vaccine update – no real side effects other than the painful arm. It is a LOT more painful than jab one,’ said one. ‘Just got my second dose of vaccine, it was a little bit more painful than first one,’ wrote another. And a third said of her second jab: ‘I felt the actual needle more. She had to give it a good shove.’
According to research published in medical journal The Lancet last month, 19 per cent of people receiving their first AZ jab recorded ‘pain’ as a local side effect at the injection site, compared to 29 per cent and 34 per cent for the first and second doses of Pfizer respectively. But at the time of the study, not enough people had received the second AZ jab to be included.
Of the more serious after-effects – most commonly headaches and flu-like symptoms – experts believe the second dose may pack more of a punch because the body responds more robustly to the vaccine after recognising it from the first jab.