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COVID vaccines & asthma

CarnLesBoel profile image

COVID vaccination and asthma exacerbation: might there be a link?!

42 Replies

As the article says, 1 case study is not sufficient evidence. I think it was probably a coincidence.

CarnLesBoel profile image
CarnLesBoel in reply to Troilus

Like my adverse reaction to the vaccines...?from normal to debilitated, ongoing since February.

I had a very severe set of back to back exacerbations following my second jab (it was my first Pfizer dose, I had an allergic reaction to AZ). My doctors think mine were more related to my MCAS and underlying autoimmune issues than my asthma specifically, just how it came out symptomatically was displayed via my asthma, if that makes sense. Basically the asthma wasn't the driving force.

Still waiting to see if I'll need a fourth dose. Not put off at all. Xolair, Ketotifen and Prednisolone are keeping me very much stable nowadays, which I'm very grateful for!

Thanks for your response.Vaccines can be a taboo topic - I’m not anti vaccine, I just came across this and wanted to share.

My after-effects of 1st vaccine, (AZ February), were alleviated by Prednisolone and antibiotics. Surgery nurse literally prescribed the suggestions from my telephoning helpline.

I started to recover somewhat but after 2nd AZ (April) another surgery nurse decided against repeating this treatment (?) so instead doubled my inhaler dose and added daily antihistamine...

No improvement so different inhaler prescribed (by yet another nurse)... I eventually got an email response from a doctor who said ‘the nurse knows better than me’.

Add Carbocisteine, then double it etc

I’ve got progressively worse: breathlessness, chronic catarrh/cough and exhaustion.

Managed to see a (different!) doctor face2face very recently - he thinks it’s long Covid - now waiting for results of X-ray.


Hanne62 profile image
Hanne62 in reply to CarnLesBoel

I don’t understand why your dr should think it’s long covid, if you haven’t had covid?

CarnLesBoel profile image
CarnLesBoel in reply to Hanne62

I had covid in March 2020.

Glty profile image
Glty in reply to Hanne62

There's a few people who have developed a long covid type syndrome following vaccination - much lower frequency than after after covid itself but it's not unheard of.

Logo132 profile image
Logo132 in reply to Glty

I actually know of quite a few cases of this happpening.

Hanne62 profile image
Hanne62 in reply to Glty

It doesn’t surprise me, really. I’m a huge advocate of vaccines, and my life wouldn’t’ve been blighted by lung damage if modern vaccines had been around in the 50’s, but although these have been tested as thoroughly as possible in the face of a global emergency, we can’t know the long term effects.

This is why I’m not keen, personally, on giving them to children until more research is done

Boswell08 profile image
Boswell08 in reply to floating_

My 1st (and only!) shot didn’t affect my asthma but gave me constant tinnitus! Which is a symptom that’s also reported by some covid long haulers.

It’s no fun is it : (

I just feel lucky that it’s not a loud tinnitus, and it’s getting quieter each month (it’s been almost 5 months). What I have is nothing compared to those who have much worse adverse reactions. But I’m terrified that one day I may be forced to take a 2nd shot. I hope that day never comes, I don’t mind staying home!

I’m really scared of anything triggering worse ailments too!

After getting covid I started staying at home & avoiding contact etc (shielding I suppose) and it’s easy for me because I live in a remote area and enjoy my very private life.

In hindsight I really wish I’d just trusted my social distancing tactics and avoided the vaccines, which is where I’m at now re booster.


I’m also very very vigilant with fresh air between myself and neighbours, hand gel etc etc.

It’s about the luxury of choice and taking a calculated risk...taking full responsibility.

Vaccines gives a real boost to all the other tactics but when I hear today that someone (celebrity) can die from covid after double jabs and booster it suggests maybe/perhaps/possibly he had been physically in too-close contact with infected becomes a massive trust issue between different friends/relatives of a different generation etc

Anyway re tinnitus I’m really hoping that the lessening of symptoms means it’s a temporary issue for you.

My hearing declined recently after ear canal got blocked (excess mucus>sinus congestion) but just the prep for ear syringing sorted it out.

In my youth I spent too long near the speakers at live music events so I’ve had loud tinnitus for years - horrible!

I prefer being outdoors and I’m sensitive to volume of people, TVs etc.

Fingers crossed for you!

With all this info I’m going with your ‘underlying autoimmune issues’ as the reason for relapse and asthma/aggravated allergy as a symptom.

I had to look up meaning MCAS !

I’m pleased that you’re stable - thanks for your input : )

Thanks! I was very ill for a few months, in and out of hospital, etc. Not my favourite. But getting COVID would likely kill me (I'm CEV and Immunosuppressed), so better that than getting COVID-19 and I'd do it again.

Sorry to hear you're still struggling. Sometimes people just don't have a great response to vaccines, kind of like how some people get severely ill with COVID-19 despite being previously considered healthy. Life's frustrating and mysterious like that when we don't have enough/all the information.

Are you under the care of a respiratory consultant? They might have a better idea of what's going on. I do have a lot of mucus as well actually, and it has gotten worse since my booster come to think of it. Carbocisteine isn't working as well as it used to. Need to tell my GP about it tomorrow, maybe she can figure out something whilst I wait to speak to my main respiratory consultant.

Just wanted to say thanks for the fact you even looked up MCAS, not many people do! For some reason it means a lot to me when people self-educate, haha.

I have had a brief look at article and as said in article you can’t base anything on 1 examined case.I am genuine sorry that you may have been adversely affected but I feel strongly that it is very very few people who have had a bad reaction. The vast majority of people have been fine or had a mild reaction.

It is vital that people continue to get vaccinated and I for one am humbled to live in a country where I have easily been vaccinated. As someone who is CEV I find the availability of inoculations reassuring.

CarnLesBoel profile image
CarnLesBoel in reply to Bevvy

Oh dear, I just wanted to share.

Is that allowed here?

I haven’t in any way suggested that folks shouldn’t be vaccinated!!!

What about us in the minority?

Don’t we count? Can we be allowed a voice without a mainstream response of ‘taboo topic?...and attendant predictable assumptions.

Bevvy profile image
Bevvy in reply to CarnLesBoel

Don’t know why you are attacking me?! Of course you can post whatever you like here. And I can give a measured response. That’s the way forums work.

I actually expressed sympathy for your situation and voiced an opinion about vaccines. I certainly wasn’t hostile or made assumptions. You queried a link between vaccines and asthma exacerbation. I have suggested that there is no definitive link and few people have adverse reactions to vaccine.

You may not be “anti vaccine” and nowhere did I say YOU were. I made my points because people could read the report / your posting and be scared about receiving vaccine or booster.

CarnLesBoel profile image
CarnLesBoel in reply to Bevvy

(Replying again as my previous reply has disappeared?)

Your comments ‘I feel strongly’ doesn’t convey a ‘measured response’ to me.

***The question posed isn’t mine - it is the title of the piece written in

I just shared it.

I don’t share your opinion that such a topic could ‘scare’ people. I do think that there’s a possibility of some of us feeling isolated, censored even and, (as has previously happened to some of us during this pandemic) feeling dismissed.

Experiencing long term illness is difficult, that’s why many of us are here isn’t it?

Surely more research is needed for all the ‘novel’ aspects of this virus so those of us in the minority are not left to feel ignored.

That is scary.

Bevvy profile image
Bevvy in reply to CarnLesBoel

In the same way you think I am reading things in to your posts that I am not (eg anti vax which I didn’t accuse you of) I think you are reading things into what I am saying. One reason I am strongly (sorry if you don’t like that word) pro vaccine is because of people like you who are unable to receive vaccination for whatever reason. Eg bad reactions or medical conditions that mean vaccines are not possible. My understanding is that if everyone who could be vaccinated were it would make things safer for those that can’t. That is less prevalence of a disease.

This is my view for all vaccines not just Covid vaccines.

CarnLesBoel profile image
CarnLesBoel in reply to Bevvy

‘but I feel strongly that it is very very few people who have had a bad reaction. The vast majority of people have been fine or had a mild reaction.’

Unnecessary/obvious response - no mention that this is a problem for the majority.

‘It is vital that people continue to get vaccinated and I for one am humbled to live in a country where I have easily been vaccinated. As someone who is CEV I find the availability of inoculations reassuring.’

Again unnecessary/obvious ....I am not ‘unable to have the vaccine’, and I wasn’t ever challenging or begrudging anyone’s access to vaccines - I’ve already had 2 myself!!!

I don’t ‘dislike’ the word “strongly” I simply found your use of it revealing.

This item was never intended for people like you.

Funnily enough, I have found the opposite…that my severe asthma has actually been really much better since my vaccines. Sorry you had a bad reaction. I guessed with all vaccines , and medications, some will have rare but adverse affects.

Indeed, many have experienced an improvement - even those with Long Covid - but thankfully there are some neuroscientists, immunologists and others in the scientific community who are currently researching on behalf of the unlucky few.

Beefull8 profile image
Beefull8 in reply to CarnLesBoel

I have also had severe reaction to one shot and I have found others on Facebook who have experienced the same thing. You are definitely not alone although many of us are being silenced and censored.

CarnLesBoel profile image
CarnLesBoel in reply to Beefull8

Thank you so much for that!

It was my last nhs nurse who first mentioned the possibility as she’d heard of adverse effects, especially after 2nd shot.

During a phone call from an nhs pharmacist she also felt the Vs to be a possible link and so decided to put my details on the Yellow Card.

I really appreciate the moral support.

Beefull8 profile image
Beefull8 in reply to CarnLesBoel

Sure! I’ve definitely felt pushback or gaslighted by others unintentionally because they luckily have had no reactions.

Logo132 profile image
Logo132 in reply to Beefull8

So sorry to hear this. This is exactly what happened to my husband. He became extremely ill after the first jab. Unfortunately he works in the care sector so has had to leave his job as the doctor refused to sign exemption. He’s still very ill now. Doctors response is paracetamol or antidepressant as they refuse to believe anyone can have a reaction.

Yes you are right Beefull that anyone who comes forward with a story like this is often censored, silenced and not believed. This is unfair. You deserve to be heard. People deserve to make an informed choice about whether the vaccine is right for them.

I would also like to point out that I’m not anti vaccine in any way and have had my 2 shots without any bad effects but we have to acknowledge that some people have bad reactions.

Beefull8 profile image
Beefull8 in reply to Logo132

Thank you for saying that! My son also has had reactions to vaccines and have been told there’s no way it’s due to vaccines even though the cdc website says there are risks there. I wasn’t an antivaxer either but I realize now that maybe a lot of people who are have had bad reactions to them. When doctors don’t believe you and there’s no media sharing risks it’s very questionable whether we’re getting the entire truth. After having almost six months of symptoms I think I’m less trusting. And I am so sorry about your husband. There are groups online that share what types of supplements have helped them. You can message me and I can give you more info.

CarnLesBoel profile image
CarnLesBoel in reply to Logo132

Thank you : )We both know from experience the reality of your husband’s ill health.

There are now reports of medical staff struggling with LC who are upset by their medical peers/colleagues suggesting it’s just ‘anxiety’ etc

I guess some ideas make people very uncomfortable and denial is the knee jerk response.

This quote seems appropriate : )

‘For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong’

Given the number of people being vaccinated there will of course be people having asthma exacerbations after the vaccine although that doesn't mean the vaccine was the cause. My daughter had an asthma exacerbation following her flu vaccine last year and we assumed they were connected until she had the same problem this year before she'd had her flu vaccine so was clearly just a coincidence.

CarnLesBoel profile image
CarnLesBoel in reply to AJP2

Do these asthma exacerbations worsen over 10 months?My asthma was very mild for 21years until the vaccines.

I had wondered at first whether it was caused by Saharan dust, and I would soon recover but found little info.

Then NHS nurses thought vaccines triggered it and recently a doctor reckons Long Covid.

Since the medical & science communities are on such a steep learning curve they are using a process of elimination for people like me.

So hopefully at some point in the future there will be more understanding.

Because of the timing - 11 months after COVID infection - my interest has being in finding something - anything similar to my experience that would help me understand why my life is now so radically changed.

I was just pleased that someone is asking questions, not just ignoring the anomalies.

not impressed with the click-batey title of this research paper. Even if there was a link with that particular patient, 1 person out of millions would not justify concerns.

Me and my dad (both asthmatic) had no reaction to any of the 3 jabs beyond a sore arm.Sister and mum (no asthma) were really ill for a few days.

The case study in the article is super unrepresentative, due to the fact the individual wasn't even on a preventer beforehand.

Given the fact you've recently changed inhalers, you've got a good few months before you start feeling the effects. It probably wasn't the right time to change from your doctors but mine did the same when I had a recent exacerbation. I'm about 6 months on from the change now and can safely say my asthma is the best it has been in a long time. Give the new medicine time to work, and you may find big improvements. Also, if it is long covid, unfortunately asthma medication is not going to help.

Fingers crossed for your recovery

Hi, I’m finding all these threads on my little iPhone screen a bit confusing but I’m hoping you were posting to me : ) and thank you for your kind words.Fingers crossed!

I’ve actually been with the ‘new’ inhaler for 7 months it’s powder and twice the strength of previous one. After immediate improvement the breathlessness etc returned but typically PF seemed okay for a while.

It’s all getting slowly worse with brief random respites... then back to square one. Snakes & ladders .

I didn’t change my doctor, my family doctor of decades retired a while back and I had no need of seeing a doctor till this year. Sadly the staff at my surgery now keep changing and doctors have generally avoided contact with people and, in my case, referred me to nurses instead - 3 different ones.

I only got to have an overview from a doctor very recently after telephoning when I was clearly struggling to breathe.

So there’s not much continuity and lots of puzzles for lots of people on either side of the doctors desk.

But after all the helpful feedback from an asthmatic POV here I’m now thinking that though my symptoms present as asthma it’s now looking more like LC, the symptoms fit and the timing/trigger of the relapse is part of the puzzle of this ‘novel’ virus.

Just as floating... said at the beginning it seems more likely about autoimmune issues. It’s been well worth the input.

Yes, and it can be difficult to work things out when there's so much overlap. I have the same issues with doctors, unfortunately there's no way around it. Good luck!

If your healthcare professional is reluctant to report your reaction to the vaccine then you should read the attached and contact the MHRA directly (email in the link). It's important that the right platform is used to collate this information. The government has expressly stated that the MHRA will be playing an important role in reports made via the yellow card system, so definitely report it yourself directly.

CarnLesBoel profile image
CarnLesBoel in reply to Poobah

Thank you, that’s a very good point to share here.

I’ve not encountered any reluctance to report my reaction - it was simply never recognised as such.

Instead I experienced a reluctance from a doctor to consider my ongoing problems as anything that a nurse couldn’t handle.

After two months of problems (my reaction to first vaccine) my condition was described as allergic rhinitis (10months on the main symptoms are chronic catarrh/cough/breathlessness).

It was only later (when I actually saw a nurse face2face) that I wondered why I hadn’t previously been offered a repeat of prednisolone + antibiotics as it seemed to help me after the first relapse.

After this conversation she shared her own awareness of people reacting to (mostly) the second vaccine. I was surprised!

Up until this point I had only heard the narrative that it’s ‘very unlikely that the vaccine could cause a reaction’.

Shortly afterwards an NHS pharmacist rang me regarding medicines and surprised me by also sharing experience of adverse reactions to vaccines.

She wondered whether it was okay for her to report my symptoms as a ‘yellow card’ and I agreed to her doing so.

It was extraordinary how her kind words and concerns made me feel.

It’s interesting that up until now the only considered care, treatment and support I’ve had is from a nurse who unfortunately is now changing roles within the nhs.

She was apologetic but felt on principle no one should be coerced into being vaccinated even though she’s not anti vaccine.

She's not happy about the prospect of only ‘compliant’ types of nurses being left within the nhs and as a mother is using this sea-change as an incentive to reduce her working hours and develop her career away from the areas currently being politicised.

I will miss her.

There seems too much acceptance of narratives over facts/ reality and if your experience differs there’s too much pressure to go away and be silent.

The Yellow Card reminds me of the Little boy and the Emporer’s clothes represent the prevailing narrative, so maybe I’ll check into this system for myself.

This is a long shot, but looking back at your posts in order to get an idea of your symptoms, I'm wondering if you ever did a peak flow test to check the efficacy of your reliever inhaler (usually Ventolin)? That is, taking a PF read before using the reliever and then again another PF reading 20 minutes later. It's a good indicator if your metered dose inhaler is effective or whether swapping to dry powder inhalers would suit you and any potential new allergies better.

Asthma patients occasionally have a change in sensitivities in adulthood and I'm just wondering if this has happened to you. The rhinitis is the red flag for this.

CarnLesBoel profile image
CarnLesBoel in reply to Poobah

Oh yes!PF readings aplenty.

I was swapped to Fostair powder and double strength dose 7 months ago with PF improvement - 400.

PF doesn’t seem to relate to symptoms for many people.

So, in spite of improved PF, 10 months on from ‘health change’ :

Constant catarrh >>> coughing which regularly makes me throw up.

Doubling the dose of Carbocisteine hasn’t improved this at all.

Triggered by talking/movement.

My breathlessness has gone from ‘after exertion’ to ‘constant unless not talking/moving’.

My activity level is vastly reduced.

Fatigue has replaced my active days; I now have to pace myself with any minimal exercise or else I suffer with exhaustion the next day or three.

I find it hard to summon energy to do anything.

Daily antihistamines.

I just telephoned to discover my X-ray is clear which is great, but that the next step will be yet another asthma review.

I was recently told there’s a national shortage of asthma nurses but there would be one appointed by now....except now they’re not.

So back to being reviewed by the non-asthma nurse.

Merry go round, snakes and ladders, whatever game it is I’m not getting anywhere.

Poobah profile image
Poobah in reply to CarnLesBoel

Have a read of this and if you think you may be affected then I believe that a referral to an ENT specialist will be required to get tested and diagnosed or cleared.

Patients don't develop symptoms, despite having asthma previously, until their 3rd or 4th decade. And it's not routinely screened for either, even when presenting with symptoms as knowledge is patchy. Best to get it ruled out.

I was fortunate to have terrible reactions to aspirin suddenly and that's how I knew something was up and just happened to mention it to a respiratory consultant who knew about the existence of AERD, but not much more.

In my career I've worked with 4 other asthmatics and 3 of them also had AERD.

CarnLesBoel profile image
CarnLesBoel in reply to Poobah

Thank you for your interest!

Unfortunately I haven’t used aspirin for decades and the symptoms don’t match.

I think after having acute but relatively ‘mild’ COVID, back in March 2020, with myriad non typical symptoms (eg no cough) my bodies immune system was later triggered by the vaccine and now it won’t switch off.

Poobah profile image
Poobah in reply to CarnLesBoel

Good luck in your endeavours.

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