Afib after covid jab: Had Asta Zeneca jab... - AF Association

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Afib after covid jab


Had Asta Zeneca jab yesterday at 1345. At about 0130 I've gone into afib. So I've taken my pill in pocket and will take another in five minutes, but with little hope as my afib has never self resolved before, always needed cardioversion (three times).

So my question is, what do I do now? Go into A&E tomorrow? Or call arrythmia nurses ? I have little faith in my local hospital as theynusual.y just drug me up and make me wait weeks for a cardioversion as a drug addled zombie!

Any suggestions? Thank you

48 Replies

Sorry to hear this Jajarunner, I’m fairly new to this so what is the pill in the pocket ? I’m guessing it’s similar to the angina spray, take it when needed.

When you’ve gone into Afib in the past, how long is it before you normally get back to sinus rhythm. Must be horrible to put up with that especially if your heartbeat is racing.

I know I’d be straight up to A&E if it was me as I couldn’t function normally if in AF, but you’re more experienced with these episodes so do whatever you think is best, but don’t take any chances.

No I can't function either. Off to a and e now

Bigomlet in reply to Jajarunner

Hope all goes well and you’re not waiting too long

Jajarunner in reply to Bigomlet

Usually I've waited five miserable weeks for a cardioversion. Much of it in hospital. I'm hoping they'll actually listen when I tell them no drugs work to stop it and I need a cardioversion. Like you I'm.completely unable to function in Afib. So disappointing since I'm still recuperating from May's ablation...

A pill in.pocket (pip) is emergency medication to be taken only when heart plays up. Mine is flecainide.

I would suggest that it is highly unlikely to be a consequence of having the vaccination.

More likely to just be a coincidence.

Hope all goes well in A & E.


Several people on here have had Afib after the jab though. So who knows?

CDreamer in reply to Jajarunner

Exactly - who knows. Neither proven nor unproven to be a connection as if we have AF we tend to be quite reactive to many things anyway.

I do believe that often it’s the anxiety connected to the event which exacerbates AF.

I know from my own experience that if I have any infections, I get AF. I also have autoimmune disease so am immune suppressed so was quite expecting some sort of reaction (I had the Pfitzer) but apart from a slightly sore arm for about 36 hours - nothing.

We all react very differently

kkatz in reply to CDreamer

Hi anxiety has never set off my Afib & I was happy not anxious re jab .

Dollcollector in reply to kkatz

I was happy to have my jab too and don't suffer from anxiety. Thought l was fine at first; none of the usual side effects. Then my a.f. kicked in.

meadfoot in reply to Jajarunner

My heart was unstable after my jab after a period of heart calm up until then. I had the AZ jab.

Talika in reply to pottypete1

Irregular heartbeat is listed as one of the side-effects

Rhea11 in reply to Talika

I will not take a covid vaccine .. not even a flu shot .. I have my immune system and keep it up as well as I can. Works perfectly so far. I am 75 years old.

Auriculaire in reply to Rhea11

For the moment I am undecided but not inclined to be vaccinated. I do not have to decide as I have not yet been called unlike my husband who has decided not to have it.It is not the virus that makes you ill. It is the terrain it lands upon ie the state of health and immune system of the individual. This is obvious given the different reactions to infection from no symptoms at all to death. There are other ways than vaccination to support the immune system and if there is resistance to the vaccines from new variants then it is even more necessary to work to support the immune system.

BillCook in reply to Auriculaire

Sorry - I don't want to be confrontational at all - but I sincerely believe that this is a dangerous attitude. Yes, there are people who contract coronavirus and have no symptoms. There are others who have huge problems and die.

My brother-in-law, age 69 (he is 3 days older than me) has a history of medical problems. He is morbidly obese, he has lymphatic cancer (not an aggressive type), a heart defect, and a hugely damaged liver through excessive daily drinking of brandy. He was taken into hospital on Christmas Eve with pneumonia, and a week later was in a Covid ward because he tested positive. He was asymptomatic for Covid. He has now recovered so much that he was released to his own home 2 days ago.

I, by contrast, am of normal weight. Unlike my brother-in-law I eat a varied, balanced diet. Before I had persistent AF (started 18 months ago) I was extremely fit (long distance and mountain running). I had Covid-19 last April. I wasn't hospitalised, but I was very unwell for 3 weeks, and it took me a long time to come round. When i was ill, my wife must have been exposed to the virus. The worst that she experienced was thinking she might be "coming down" with something - a mild sore throat, off and on for a day or so, and a hot, dry nose. Otherwise nothing.

My guess, and of course it has to be that, is that something genetic is at work here. There is a stark difference between me: a relatively fit individual with a fairly healthy lifestyle and diet, and my brother-in-law: an obese alcoholic with other health issues. I think it's likely that my wife has the same genetic factor as her brother, hence virtually no reaction to this coronavirus.

I agree, of course, that we can make lifestyle choices that will improve our immune systems. But that will be a general, and probably quite slight, improvement across the board of all infectious agents that might attack us. The function of vaccines is to provide a targeted response. After vaccination, the immune system has already built a very specific and pretty effective defence system before the real virus gets there.

That's how smallpox was eradicated - no amount of health or diet improvements could have achieved the same result as vaccination.

Auriculaire in reply to BillCook

Your wife had a very obvious genetic advantage over you- her sex. And long distance and mountain running might improve your cardiovascular fitness but studies on athletes have shown that they have poorer immune systems as a result of excessive exercise. I do not understand how your comparison of your experience with that of your brother in law contradicts what I said about terrain. How was he asymptomatic for covid if he had pneumonia and has spent over 2 months in hospital? Are you saying his pneumonia was not caused by covid?

The stats show that the average age in Britain and other European countries for dying of covid is 81. And that most -but obviously not all -of the younger people who become sick enough to be hospitalised have comorbidities. Studies from many different countries have shown that vitamin D deficiency also has a role. The vaccines that are currently available target the spike protein . It is this part of the virus where the mutations are taking place that are affecting how contagious it is and there is a real possibility that they will not be anywhere near as effective against some variants. I do not see how it is dangerous to point this out. The vaccines are being promoted as the only answer to covid. This is dishonest. There are treatments and prophylactics . Ivermectin for example which is being used in third world countries like India with considerable success. Calcifediol which is being used in Andalucia. Budesonide . The infection mortality rate for covid is changing all the time but at the moment is thought to be less than 1%. For people under 70 well under -.04% So the vast majority of people do not die and most do not become seriously ill. Most people infected probably have a similar experience to that of your wife. But this is not the impression one gets from the doom and gloom picture relentlessly pumped out by the media. As for sincere beliefs - it is my sincere belief that if the UK government had addressed the chronic vit D deficiency in the population tens of thousands of lives could have been saved long before the vaccines were ready. I would recommend the blog of Dr David Grimes.

BillCook in reply to Auriculaire

Well, I would definitely agree that it is in no way dangerous to point out that vaccines may not be effective against mutant viruses. I'm absolutely in agreement. However, this was not something you stressed in your your post.

The suggestion that I described as "dangerous" was your implication that the virus doesn't of itself make you ill, but your own physiology is more important: that you'd be better off trying to improve your immune system than being vaccinated. I think this is spurious, and very dangerous.

It's also the first I've heard of women having a genetic advantage over men, and that this is an obvious fact. Can you supply some reference material to support this?

And, yes, I am suggesting that my brother-in-law had pneumonia not caused by the coronavirus. He was hospitalised because of pneumonia, and a couple of weeks later was transferred to a Covid-19 ward because he had then tested positive for the virus - but had no Covid symptoms. The most probable explanation, at least to me, is that he contracted the coronavirus after he contracted a bacterial pneumonia infection. The pneumonia was successfully treated by intravenous antibiotics - to me at least confirming that it was a bacterial, not viral, infection. He was already improving before the positive Covid-19 test.

Auriculaire in reply to BillCook

Women have better immune systems than men. This is due to oestrogen. This has been known for ages Right from the beginning if the pandemic it was clear that men were worse affected.There was an article in the Guardian the other day about how post menopausal women who take HRT and women on oestrogen containing contraceptives do better with covid. It is even being used to treat long covid with some success. I still maintain that it is not the virus that makes you ill. The fact that there are asymptomatic carriers shows this to be logical. Given that the m RNA vaccines have never been used before and there is absolutely no medium or long term data on their safety ( the actual trials are not even scheduled to end till late 2022 and the Pfizer one will be totally null if they give the vaccine to the placebo arm as a reward for taking part)) I consider that the vaccination campaign is actually a massive phase 3 trial . I actually said there are other ways to improve your immune system not that these were better and that if there was resistance to variants possibly more relevant. Read my last sentence again. . I also said I was undecided about whether to be vaccinated. If a more classic type of vaccine is approved that does not just target the spike I would be more inclined to have it. Though I would have to be convinced that there was no possibility of ADE .

The vaccination jab triggered my a.f. after 4 months of n.s.r.

Was that the Oxford AZ jab, just out of interest? Have you reported it via coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra...

If we all do that it will inform for the future which vaccine may be better for us...

It was the Oxford A.Z. and l have reported it via yellow card. I don't think it would have mattered which jab it was, it would probably have still upset my system. I am still glad l had it and will have my 2nd one in April as it is important. I went to have my 1st jab quite happy as l never have any side effects from vaccinations and felt fine at first. I will be a bit more apprehensive when l go for my 2nd one.

Me too. I've reported mine too

I definitely wasn't nervous about the vaccine, in fact I was delighted to be getting it at last. Little did I know....

Buffafly in reply to Jajarunner

So if you’d actually got AF - ITU?

37Polly in reply to Jajarunner

I agree. I was so happy to get mine...painless, no waiting, and thrilled....the a couple hrs later....afib! I am still happy I had the shot.

How did you get on at hospital Jaja?

I did t go to useless local hospital but to big teaching hospital I stressed how I have NEVER RESPONDED to chemical conversion and how ill I always am when in afib. THEY LISTENED! And electro cardioverted me there and then. Now back in proper rhythm and, by chance, have an appointment with my electrocardiologist on monday.

Very kind of you to think of me, appreciate it xx

Very glad that you were able to go to the teaching hospital and that they carried out the cardioversion.

I must confess that over the decades I have had PAF there have been a number of times that the PIP of Flecainide hasn't helped but the vast majority of times Flecainide did the trick. Whenever I was unsuccessful with PIP I went to the hospital, I am lucky to live near a centre of cardiac excellence and I reckon I have had over 20 cardiversions in the 30 years I have suffered with AF all of which successfully returned me to NSR.

However with >21 million vaccinations having taken place I think it is a very small proportion of people that have had any significant side effects.

As you know I am of the opinion that we cannot be sure what causes any episode of AF and although it is possible that the vaccination triggered your AF on this occasion there is also every possibility that there was no trigger at all and that it was just a coincidence.

Glad all is well for you now, what a relief AF plays such mind games each time it happens.



I've also discovered I'm over medicated for underactive thyroid so that too could be a trigger too. Or perhaps the two together. Who knows.....

As BobD once said searching for triggers leads to madness 🤣🤣🤣

How right you are.

99% of my episodes just happen for no obvious trigger. Just sitting quietly in a chair or the complete opposite can be the culprit.

I have ceased drinking alcohol for the past 4 years as my EP carried out so many ablations I felt I owed it to him to remove any potential triggers. Since my last ablation 3 ½ years ago I have been significantly better. However Bob went 10 years without an episode and then it happened so we must never think we are out of the woods.


KevJenn in reply to Jajarunner

Meaning you became hyper? T3 level high etc. I have Graves Disease hyperthyroid and afib and hyper go hand in glove.

So glad to hear you are now back in sinus rhythm. Hope all goes well on Monday.

Take care and best wishes,


Bless you, thanks for the message xx

So Pleased you got sorted Japarunner. Really glad you went to the big teachering hospital & they listened to you. Good for you! Pethaps they will put it on your notes for future reference too to save you that worry if it happens again?

My heart raced after the Pfizer for a while -woke me up in the night. I put it down to the fact that the bodies system had been challenged by the vaccine like it would be with a virus or infection. Not pleasant but luckliy for me it was nothing more than that. Like you I was delighted to have the vaccine.

Hope your appointment goes well on Monday. Be interested to hear what the specialist has to say.

Thank you. I will report back what EP says especially regarding getting the second jab! I definitely WILL be nervous about that!

Glad you got the treatment you knew you needed. Rest up and take it easy. Elaine.

Jajarunner in reply to Bonnie58

Thank you


If flecainide does not help to return to sinus rhythm, why not ask your doctor to change it, maybe amiodarone is better for you?.

All - please please take care & discuss with your GP before having the vaccine. I’m not talking it down but ensure everything is in place if things don’t go to plan.

I am a very fit & well 50 year old with paroxysmal AF that is well controlled by magnesium & ubiquinol (natural) & ultimately Flecanaide as pill in pocket.

I had Pfizer jab yesterday & whilst in the recovery 15 minutes lost consciousness.

I am not needle phobic as have had two catheter ablations. My heart nearly stopped & BP crashed to a dangerous level. Ambulance attended & taken to Gloucester Royal hospital for observation.

Now home and feeling ropey.

So my advice would be :

If you have vagally mediated AF then discuss with your GP do no leave it to the vaccine clinic as they are simply ticking question boxes.

My reaction was severe bradycardia which wasn’t great.

So please be informed and have the vaccine in a safe environment in case it doesn’t go to plan

secondtry in reply to Kevwray

Timely advice thank you, I intend to check with my cardiologist before having the jab to ask about his patients experiences and how I can amend my Flecainide dose/other actions if I am unlucky enough to have a problem.

I hope you are back to normal soon.

Kevwray in reply to secondtry

Thanks I had a little run of tachycardia this morning but have been in sinus rhythm throughout- wise to check first as you state. I’m not having a 2nd jab as feel risk versus benefit not right for me but wish everyone well with their own vaccination.

Jajarunner in reply to Kevwray

Yes, I wondered about missing the second dose after yesterday's excitement. I'll see what the electrocardiologist says Monday....

waveylines in reply to Kevwray

Am so sorry to hear of your reaction to the vaccine Kevray. That was very unlucky and mustve been very scary. Poor you.

Did the hospital talk it through with you before you left after treatment? It sounds like they need to put in place a plan before the next jab if you are to have it and your cardiologist should be informed and make suggestions.

Hi thanks for the message. As luck would have it I have an appointment with Papworth this Monday which had been arranged for weeks! Will feedback what he says.

Hi What PIP do you take that you can take one and tben another just five minutes later I am very interested to know

Hi I take 100 flecainide then I can take another 100 mg 30 mins later. That post was badly written. I had taken the pip 25 mins previously! Sorry, I was a bit traumatised!!!

So sorry to hear. Some hope for you....I went into afib on my second PFISER shot a week ago today. After five days of misery while awaiting my hospital to arrange for date of Cardioversion, on Tuesday afternoon I converted back to NSR! I, too, had never reverted from a long seige of afib on my own. 🤞I will hope for you it is a different experience when we are triggered by the vaccine. My granddaughter tells me her roommates Mom had similar experience. Good luck.

Jajarunner in reply to 37Polly

So glad you self converted. Far better than electro cardioversion. I feel shellshocked today!!!! And sooooo tired despite 11 hours kip last night!!!!

Being an AF Newby here after experiencing symptoms for just over a year now but diagnosed with paroxysmal AF during the last 6 months. I have been interested to hear the different experiences by all during their post vaccination jab and agree that the resulting side effects if any are certainly specific to each individual. I myself am 52 and went for the first jab of AZ with my twin brother. He has no diagnosis of AF and had his jab only half an hour prior to myself. We both experienced the same onset of symptoms, shivering, muscle aches and pain and a severe vice like headache. My experience occurred 5 hours later to my brother and I managed with plenty of water and rest although he needed Paracetamol in addition to this. Most of this cleared up after 48 hours except the headache which lasted 3 days. Sleeping was the worst for the headache and laying propped up at a 45 degree angle relieved this somewhat. We both experienced the sore upper arm and I continued on my Beta blockers regularly with no worsening or obvious change in my usual AF which the medication appears to be handling. As an afterthought my next-door neighbours are a couple, one with AF and the other Hypertension. The HT sufferer had the Pfizer jab and is only just getting over it some 6 days later and the AF sufferer was due to take the jab this week but is looking to postpone till next week. So to you all out there, I can only wish you good luck and of course the best as it really is down to a mix of factors. Take care.

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