Nine Covid symptoms affecting the fully vaccinated — and signs you may have it

Fainting and fatigue may signal onset of variant, experts say

Maryam Zakir-Hussain
Friday 06 January 2023 11:01 GMT
COVID variant Omicron: What are the main symptoms?

Covid vaccines helped moved the UK out of a cycle of lockdowns and restrictions - but even with the jab you can still catch the virus.

Thanks to variants like Omicron, Covid-19 has adapted throughout the pandemic and therefore even those with boosters can be infected or reinfected.

While the majority of the population has been vaccinated against Covid, older people are being urged to come forward to receive their boosters.

According to the ZOE Health Study, rises in infections are proof Covid has not gone away and that we still need to be vigilant as new mutations continue to emerge around the world.

With that in mind, what follows is an overview of some of the most common symptoms associated with that variant and its offspring for the fully-vaccinated – and two early warning signs that you might have it.

Most common symptoms for the fully vaccinated

Researchers in Norway conducted a study interviewing 111 out of 117 guests to a party on 26 November 2021 where there was an Omicron outbreak.

Of the group interviewed, 66 had definitive cases of Covid and 15 had possible cases of the virus.

Of the 111 participants, 89 per cent had received two doses of an mRNA vaccine and none had received a booster shot.

According to the findings published in the infectious disease and epidemiology journal Eurosurveillance, there were eight key symptoms experienced by the group of fully-vaccinated partygoers.

These were: a persistent cough, runny nose, fatigue, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, fever and sneezing.

An associate practitioner administers a coronavirus vaccine at Elland Road in Leeds
An associate practitioner administers a coronavirus vaccine at Elland Road in Leeds (Danny Lawson/PA)

The study found that coughs, runny noses and fatigue were among the most common symptoms in the vaccinated individuals while sneezing and fever were least common.

Public health experts also added nausea to this list of symptoms in vaccinated people who have contracted the Omicron variant.

Although the vaccine protects against the more serious risks of the virus, it is still possible to contract Covid even if you have both jabs and a booster shot.

The mild nature of the symptoms makes it hard for people to distinguish the virus from a common cold.

But, according to Professor Tim Spector of the ZOE Covid project, around 50 per cent of “‘new colds’ currently are, in fact, Covid”.

Two early warning signs you may have Omicron

Experts also suggest there are two distinct symptoms that could be a sign a positive test is around the corner: fatigue and spells of dizziness or fainting.

Commuters with face coverings leave a train
Commuters with face coverings leave a train (AFP/Getty)

More than simply feeling tired, fatigue can translate to bodily pain by causing sore or weak muscles, headaches and even blurry vision and loss of appetite.

Dr Angelique Coetzee, a private practitioner and chair of the South African Medical Association, told Good Morning Britain that fatigue was one of the main symptoms of Omicron when the variant broke out in South Africa.

In fact, 40 per cent of women reported they struggled with fatigue due to Covid compared to one-third of men, according to a poll by WebMD that asked users how often they had suffered fatigue from 23 December 2021 to 4 January 2022.

Dizziness or fainting is the second sign that you may have Omicron.

A report from Germany recently suggested that there could be a link between fainting spells and Omicron after doctors in Berlin found that Covid was triggering recurrent dizzy spells in a 35-year-old patient admitted to hospital.

German newspaper Arztezeitung said that the doctors could see a “clear connection” between the infection and the fainting spells.

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