Covid: Dr Zoe warns 'headaches could potentially be first sign' of brain blood clots


Within a few days following a Covid vaccine, a “mild headache” is a common side effect. This is something “not to worry about” that can be treated with paracetamol. “The first few days [after having the Covid vaccine] you should expect some mild symptoms,” said Dr Zoe. “Some don’t get any.” Dr Zoe said this side effect is a “sign the immune system is doing something”.

She reassured it’s “nothing to be concerned about” unless you have a “severe, unusual headache that doesn’t respond to paracetamol” within four to 28 days of having the vaccine.

Addressing the concern of “very rare blood clots that can happen in the brain”, Dr Zoe confirmed this type of headache could potentially be the first sign.

It’s also of concern “if the headache is worse when you’re lying down or bending forward”.

Also be wary of headaches that are accompanied by “strange symptoms”, such as:

  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Weakness

“That’s the type of headache you should be concerned about,” stated Dr Zoe.

If any of these symptoms affect you, “speak to your GP or dial 111 to get some advice”.

Dr Zoe emphasised how “very rare the blood clots are” and “how it’s highly unlikely it would be a blood clot”, but still seek medical advice.

“They can arrange for you to have a blood test, just as the next step,” she added.

Dr Zoe also mentioned how a headache can be a symptom of a Covid infection, before other symptoms present themselves, such as:

  • Coughing
  • Loss of smell or taste

Referring to her own Covid infection, Dr Zoe said that she had “quite a bad headache”.

For those still fearful of brain blood clots, Dr Zoe pointed towards “helpful data” that was released on Thursday, April 15.

“[People are] eight times more likely to get that brain clot from a Covid infection than the vaccine,” said Dr Zoe.

As a doctor, she explained that’s it’s part of her job to “help people understand the risks and benefits of taking the vaccine”.

Her professional stance goes as follows: “For the vast majority of people out there, the benefits outweigh the risks.”

Moving onto headaches unrelated to Covid, Dr Zoe pointed out the warning signs of a migraine with aura, which may include:

  • Strange smells
  • Feeling really hungry

Dr Zoe advised that the moment warning signs appear, take paracetamol to prevent more troublesome symptoms.


The NHS elaborated about migraines with aura, which affects about one in three people who experience headaches.

Migraines are classified as “an intense headache on one side of the head” that feels like a throbbing sensation.

Symptoms of aura can include visual problems, such as seeing flashing lights, zig-zag patterns or blind spots.

Some people may experience pins and needles, which usually starts in one hand and moves up the arm before affecting the face, lips and tongue.

Other signs include:

  • Feeling dizzy or off balance
  • Difficulty speaking


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