Piper Suffers Adverse Effect After Covid Vaccination

The threat from the pandemic continues to abate thanks largely to the ongoing vaccination programme here in the UK and elsewhere around the world. Innoculations have been given to millions of people. The medicos tell us that many thousands of lives have been saved as a consequence. This is undoutedly true.

However, as with all such mass vaccination programmes, there are always rare side-effects and people who respond adversely to particular medication. One piper has contacted us with his own, discomfiting, post-vaccine story.

For understandable reasons he has asked that in any published article he remains anonymous. This we have, of course, respected. It can be said that he is a talented player and a serious student of the music. Here is his story as sent to the Editor…

‘I thought that I should write to you as someone at the forefront of the piping world. 

‘As a sufferer for five years from multiple myeloma – cancer of the bone marrow – I was persuaded much against my wishes and better judgement, I am deeply anti-lockdown, to accept the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at the end of March 2021. 



‘A month or so later, I began to experience increasing pain in my hands, wrists and fingers. The pain is worsening and I cannot now play the pipes for any sustained period.

‘All finger movements cause pain, and the little finger of the right hand is particularly affected. I cannot now do a birl at all unless it is a simple double-tap. 

‘I have no history of arthritis and there is none in my family. I have been recently and urgently referred to an NHS rheumatologist.

‘She has already emailed my GP stating that: “We have seen a number of patients over recent months with quite severe arthralgia post COVID vaccination and much smaller numbers with what appears to be a reactive arthritis.”

‘A blood test has indicated a positive marker for rheumatoid arthritis and I am on anti-inflammatories.

‘I don’t yet know whether my hands will return to normal or whether arthritis now has a permanent grip.

‘I do not know whether piping will become a thing of the past for me.

‘You can imagine how low I feel about it all, and I would not want anyone to go through the same experience.’

We thank this unfortunate gentleman for sharing his disturbing story. We are sure pipers everywhere will wish him all the very best for a speedy recovery.

If any other piper has a post-vaccination story, positive or negative that they feel should be known publicly, please contact editor@pipingpress.com.


4 thoughts on “Piper Suffers Adverse Effect After Covid Vaccination

  1. In May 2020 I had a double heart bypass operation and woke up after it without any feeling in the pinkie and ring finger of my left hand. Being a right-shoulder piper, that meant I was unable to execute a birl or a taorluath. As the months passed I exercised the affected fingers, and worked at my birls and taorluaths. It took nine months or so, but I’m pleased to say I’ve got them both back. more or less.

    1. Glad you got those back–are you the Dugald MacLeod from Barra I stayed with in Edinburgh late summer of 1973? Where are you now? Scott Bartell in Minneapolis

  2. Rheumatologist refers to “a number” and a “much smaller number” of cases. It would be good to know what sort of numbers they are talking about.
    Also whether there is a proven causal link between the vaccination and the unfortunate condition that this gentleman is suffering from.

  3. Sorry to hear this disturbing report from a fellow piper and I can fully understand how he feels. I too have an inflammatory condition in which my fingers have been affected (not because of a Covid jag) and getting the medication right is the key. I’m sure that given the Rheumatologists apply an appropriate therapy, the outcome will be more positive and regaining full articulation can be had. I sympathise greatly with your correspondent but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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