Where are the statistics for vaccine side effects?

Where are the statistics for vaccine side effects?

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My son told me that that during a discussion at school someone mentioned statistics about side effects of vaccines (I assume that the discussion was about standard vaccines in France). The numbers were completely off (1/100 "illness", 1/100 "death" - again, these numbers do not make sense).

I wanted to provide him facts to rationalize (quantify) the discussion but it is now an hour I am searching on French, Canadian and US official sites (as well as WHO) and I cannot find any statistics on side effects (from mild to mortal).

I understand that "side effects" and "vaccines" are general concepts but I want to start with anything to just show the error. Let's say that "side effect" is anything from "reasonably impacting" (so not an arm which hurts for 48 hours) to death, and "vaccines" is anything from the typical set a child will get.

Is there a place where such statistics are available?

Please note that I am not talking here about "vaccines cause autism" (there is plenty of information about that) or "vaccines are not useful" (plenty of comparative studies as well). I also understand that vaccination is a pro-vs-cons decision, I have a hard time finding the "cons" in the form of numbers.

(World Health Organisation, 2014. p. 2) shows the adverse effect (side-effect) rates for the MMR vaccine. For instance, fever between the 7th to 12th day after vaccination occurs in 5 to 15% of vaccine recipients and rashes occur in 2-5% of vaccines, etc. Page 6 summarises the results in a table. As you point out, the adverse effects are variable in severity and dependent on the particular vaccine; an organisation like the WHO will take into account the risk and severity of these adverse effects before recommending the use of the vaccine. And as you point out, it is not believed by the scientific community at large that vaccines have links with autism.


World Health Organisation. (2014). Information sheet observed rate of vaccine reactions measles, mumps and rubella vaccines.

I Am a Biologist: This Is How People Will Be Confused About the Coronavirus Vaccines and Their Side Effects

The elderly will die of natural causes and other ailments just as they always have, regardless of the vaccine. The problem is when those two are confused for cause and effect.

People are going to die after getting a coronavirus vaccine, even if it is 100% safe. This is not conjecture. It is, unfortunately, a statistical inevitability. Let me explain.

In the United States, before the pandemic, an average of about two million people over the age of sixty-five died annually. These deaths were, of course, from an assortment of causes, including heart disease, cancer, and old age. Given that the U.S. has a population of about fifty-one million over sixty-five, this means roughly 4% of such individuals die each year, irrespective of the coronavirus.

So, what will happen once everyone starts getting a coronavirus vaccine? Will these deaths suddenly stop? Of course not. In fact, assuming that everyone over the age of sixty-five gets vaccinated over the course of a year, we can do simple statistics to make some important predictions.

First, we can predict that one out of every 365 of those two million deaths will happen within twenty-four hours after receiving a coronavirus vaccine. We can also predict that one out of every fifty-two will occur within a week. By the numbers, this is a lot of deaths: about 5,500 and 38,500, respectively. Remember, these are deaths that will happen irrespective of whether the vaccine contributes to mortality. These are deaths that are predicted to be paired, by random chance, with the event of vaccination. I feel horrible reducing human life to such a set of statistics but, unfortunately, the numbers don’t lie.

Now, what do you think will happen when Americans, especially those unversed in science or medicine, start reporting that their parent or grandparent perished a day or a few days after receiving a coronavirus vaccine? That’s right, people will naturally assume the vaccine caused death. Given the maelstrom of misinformation and confusion we have already seen in this pandemic, mass vaccination will only become that much more difficult.

To be clear, it’s not just the coronavirus vaccines that will exhibit apparent associations with death. Flu vaccines already do. In 2013, a U.S. study found that 0.011% and 0.023% of all flu vaccine recipients aged sixty-five to seventy-four and over seventy-four, respectively, died within a week of receiving their vaccination. The authors of this study concluded (correctly) that the deaths were well within statistically predictable outcomes for each age group, ruling out vaccination as a meaningful contributor to mortality.

A recent episode in South Korea illustrates well how easy it is for propinquity to give people the wrong idea about vaccines, even in a country with one of the highest rates of scientific literacy in the world. Beginning in early September, the Korean government began an aggressive flu drive, with the goal of vaccinating as much of its population as possible in preparation for winter. A special fund was enacted to provide free inoculations for the most vulnerable segments of the population: children, pregnant women, and seniors. By October, a little over ten million of Korea’s fifty-one million population were inoculated.

That same month, a series of deaths were reported in possible connection with vaccination. A total of seventy-two were reported, many occurring within forty-eight hours or a week after inoculation. These reports struck fear into the Korean public, bringing flu drive participation to a grinding halt. This is despite the fact that 89% of the deaths had occurred in those over the age of sixty with media and government experts unanimously declaring the deaths to be explainable by normal patterns of predictable decease. The many attempts at reestablishing public confidence failed, with flu drive participation never fully recovering.

Thousands of people, especially seniors, will die within a week after receiving a coronavirus vaccine. This is not an educated guess but an inevitability. Medical professionals will be advised, as they usually are for flu and other vaccines, to refrain from inoculating people who are already in poor health. This will help reduce vaccine-linked mortality but not extinguish it. Since the American public is not being warned about this pending reality, the deaths seem destined to fuel unnecessary doubts about vaccine safety. We need a preemptive public messaging campaign to head off the coming storm.

Justin Fendos is a professor of cell biology at Dongseo University in South Korea. He is a regular contributor for The Diplomat with recent articles about COVID-19 published through the Brookings Institution, BBC, Georgetown University, and The National Interest’s Korea Watch.

78 Percent of Kids Have This COVID Vaccine Side Effect, Data Shows

This is one of the most common reactions kids can expect after the Pfizer vaccine.


High-risk adults have been eligible for the COVID vaccine in the U.S. since December, and in the five months since, eligibility across the country has continued to expand until the vaccine became available to everyone over the age of 16 in April. Now we just got one step closer to fully vaccinating the U.S.: Kids ages 12 to 15 are finally able to get their shots after both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agreed the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective for this younger age group. On Thursday, May 13, some states started administering shots to 12 to 15 year olds. But as many adults know, the protection of the vaccine can come with a side effect or two, and research shows it's no different for kids. In fact, there's may come on even stronger.

The FDA based its decision to grant emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for adolescents ages 12 to 15 on data from the manufacturer's Phase 3 clinical trial, according to a statement from Pfizer on May 10. The trial enrolled nearly 2,300 participants and gave insight into what vaccine side effects are most prominent in kids ages 12 to 15.

According to the clinical trial's findings, 77.5 percent of adolescents ages 12 to 15 experienced fatigue after getting the Pfizer vaccine, which is higher than the percentage of participants 16 years and older who reported feeling fatigue after getting the Pfizer shot. In earlier clinical trials on adults and older teens, 62.9 percent felt fatigue as a result of the Pfizer vaccine.

While fatigue was the most common systemic reaction among kids—meaning a response that affects the entire body—the most common side effect overall was pain at the injection site, which 90.5 percent of 12 to 15 year olds experienced. As was the case with fatigue, the side effect was also more common among the younger age group in Pfizer's clinical trials on adults, 84.1 percent of participants had pain at the injection site after their shot.

Children also experienced some other side effects more frequently than adults did. According to the data, 75.5 percent of kids reported having a headache versus 55.1 percent of adults 49.2 percent of kids experienced chills compared to 31.9 percent of adults 42.2 percent of kids had muscle pain, which 38.3 percent of adults reported feeling 24.3 percent of kids had a fever versus 14.2 percent of adults and 0.8 percent of kids had swollen lymph nodes in comparison to the 0.3 percent of adults who had that rare reaction.

However, there were other side effects that adults were more likely to experience, but by smaller margins: 10.5 percent of adults had swelling at the injection site, while 9.2 percent of kids had the same response 9.5 percent of adults had redness at the injection site versus 8.6 percent of kids and a mere 1.1 percent of adults experienced nausea, which only 0.4 percent of kids also reported.

But much like with adults, these side effects in kids are expected and are not any reason to be concerned. The FDA issued a statement on May 10 that said that adolescent side effects were consistent with those reported by adults and that they should typically only last one to three days.

"The sore arms and things like that are kind of the most common side effects after vaccination and things that kids see after their vaccination with their routine vaccinations, as well," Candice Robinson, MD, the medical director for the Chicago Department of Public Health, told NBC Chicago. "No serious safety concerns have been identified with the use of Pfizer in this age group at this time."

The misinformation

While concerns about long-term effects of vaccines are legitimate, it is important to be aware that the organized anti-vaccine industry has targeted this issue as a way to sow doubt and confusion about COVID-19 vaccines. According to the Center for Countering Digital Hate, professional anti-vaccine activists organized a meeting in the fall of 2020 to create messaging that would decrease acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines once available. These organized efforts aim to move people to extreme positions about vaccines — that is to say, from having legitimate questions about vaccines to becoming “anti-vaccine,” refusing all vaccines and believing conspiracy theories and false narratives. In some cases, individuals in these groups do not believe the science, and in other cases, they are seeking to profit from this hesitancy by encouraging the use of other products to “protect” against COVID-19.

With this in mind, we recommend carefully vetting sources of information, and the statements they are making, to ensure that you are getting answers from reliable sources. Find out more about evaluating information and recognizing false narratives using these tools:

Safety Data Summary

  • In clinical trials, side effects were common within 7 days of getting vaccinated and were mostly mild. Some people had side effects that affected their ability to do daily activities.
  • Side effects were more common in people 18&ndash59 years old compared to people 60 years and older.
  • There is a plausible causal relationship between J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine and a rare and serious adverse event&mdashblood clots with low platelets (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS).
    • It occurs at a rate of about 7 per 1 million vaccinated women between 18 and 49 years old.
    • For women 50 years and older and men of all ages, this adverse event is even more rare.
    • Find the latest updates on J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine and blood clots with low platelets.
    • CDC will continue to provide updates as we learn more about the safety of the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine in real-world conditions.

    Learn more about vaccine safety monitoring after a vaccine is authorized or approved for use.

    Most Common COVID Vaccine Side Effects in Older Adults

    by Rachel Nania, AARP, April 26, 2021 | Comments: 0

    En español | The majority of Americans 65 and older have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, but still nearly 20 percent have yet to get their first dose. Some plan to, some have no plans to and some are on the fence, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor project.

    In fact, a significant share (24 percent) of adults ages 50-plus said in late March that they want to wait and see how the vaccines are working in others before they roll up their sleeves for the shot — and concern over potential side effects is a major reason for their delay, according to KFF's polling. A new AARP survey revealed a similar trend: It found that 59 percent of adults ages 50 and older who are somewhat or very unlikely to get a COVID-19 vaccine are concerned about the vaccine's side effects.

    For the latest coronavirus news and advice go to

    Experts say one way to help alleviate anxiety over vaccine side effects is to set expectations from the start. Here's what older adults can anticipate, based on the data collected so far.

    Injection site pain, headache, fatigue are most common

    Here's some good news: A key finding from clinical trial data and from the first few months of vaccine rollout is that older adults have fewer side effects from a COVID-19 vaccine compared to younger populations.

    "If there's a little bit of a silver lining to this cloud, it's that we who have gray hair are less likely to experience these reactions,” says William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert and professor of preventive medicine and health policy at Vanderbilt University.

    The likely reason has to do with a declining immune response that comes with age, experts say. However, a lack of reaction or a diminished one doesn't mean the body isn't building protection against COVID-19. Large-scale clinical trials and real-world data show that the three federally authorized vaccines — from Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) — are highly effective at preventing severe illness from a coronavirus infection across all age groups. “So these are very strong vaccines,” Schaffner says.

    COVID-19 vaccine side effects by age

    Data is for systemic reactions, collected from the clinical trials

    For those who did have symptoms, pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache and muscle pain — the majority of which were mild to moderate — were the most common among older adults in clinical trials for the Moderna, Pfizer and J&J vaccines. Data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) v-safe surveillance system also lists these as the top symptoms experienced by people 65 and older who received the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines between Dec. 14, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021.

    Joint pain, fever, nausea and chills have also been reported among older adults after their shots. And CDC data collected during the first month of U.S. vaccinations found that dizziness was one of the most frequently noted symptoms, across all age groups.

    Another key finding: The second shot tends to hit a little harder. Older adults reported more frequent and more intense side effects after their second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, compared to the first dose. What's more, if you've already had COVID-19 “the inclination at the moment” is that you could feel stronger side effects from the vaccines, since your “immune system has been somewhat primed,” Schaffner says.

    Side effects a result of ‘revved up’ immune system

    Most common vaccine side effects in older adults

    Data collected from the vaccine clinical trials

    Side effects in adults 65+ after Moderna vaccine (second dose)

    1. Pain at injection site (83.4%)
    2. Fatigue (58.4%)
    3. Headache (46.4%)
    4. Muscle pain (46.9%)
    5. Joint pain (34.9%)
    6. Chills (30.6%)

    Nausea/vomiting (11.8%) and fever (10.2%) were also reported.

    Side effects in adults >55 after Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (second dose)

    1. Pain at injection site (66.1%)
    2. Fatigue (50.5%)
    3. Headache (39.0%)
    4. Muscle pain (28.7%)
    5. Chills (22.7%)
    6. Joint pain (18.9%)

    Fever (10.9%), diarrhea (8.3%) and vomiting (0.7%) were also reported.

    Side effects in adults 60+ after Johnson & Johnson vaccine

    1. Pain at injection site (33.3%)
    2. Headache (30.4%)
    3. Fatigue (29.7%)
    4. Muscle pain (24.0%)
    5. Nausea (12.3%)
    6. Fever (3.1%)

    Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    However irritating and uncomfortable they may be, these short-lived side effects “are normal signs that your body is building protection,” the CDC says.

    The headache, fatigue, aches and chills are a result of an inflammatory response that happens “as the immune system sends the soldiers in to encounter the vaccine and begin to respond to it,” Schaffner explains. So the systemic reactions “are already your immune system starting to rev up,” he adds.

    Over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin or antihistamines can help with any post-vaccine pain or discomfort. The CDC says individuals can take these medications as long as there's no other medical reason that would prevent them from taking them normally, although it's always a good idea to check with your doctor.

    Just be sure to wait until symptoms — if any — set in before you seek relief. Schaffner says there's some data that suggest taking a pain-relieving medication before your shot can weaken your immune response, so “out of an excess of caution” it's best to wait. And any irritation or discomfort in the arm where you got the shot can be eased with a clean, cool, wet washcloth, the CDC says.

    Preparing for possible side effects

    If you are prone to dizzy spells or have trouble with balance, go to your appointment with “someone who can hold your arm,” Schaffner says, referring to the CDC report that listed dizziness as a common side effect from the shots. Making sure you're well hydrated before your vaccine can also help offset any lightheadedness.

    "And remember, one of the good things is you will be observed for at least 15 minutes afterward. So you'll be sitting down in an area just beyond where you were vaccinated, and you can compose yourself and relax,” he adds.

    In most cases, vaccine-related side effects fade after a few days — typically one to three days after onset. However, if they linger or worry you, contact your doctor. The same goes if the redness or tenderness where you got the shot gets worse after 24 hours, the CDC advises.

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    An important thing to keep in mind: In comparison to COVID, any side effects from the vaccines “are really very trivial,” Schaffner says. “It is a very modest price to pay if you do have some transient side effects, in order to protect ourselves against a virus that really could put any of us into the intensive care unit within 48 hours."

    The Pfizer Vaccine Has Been Linked to This New Side Effect, Study Says

    Since the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. began in December, health officials and researchers have gone to great lengths to ensure the safety of the doses that were being administered. So far, the high efficacy rate and incredibly low incidence of serious reactions to the shots have finally helped bring case numbers into a nationally sustained fall. But a new study has linked myocarditis with the Pfizer COVID vaccine as a new side effect in a small number of cases.

    According to a study released by Israel's Health Ministry on June 1, there were 275 reported cases of myocarditis—which is the medical term for inflammation of the heart muscles—out of more than 5 million vaccinated people reported between December 2020 and May 2021. But despite the small percentage of affected patients, the researchers concluded that "there is a probable link between receiving the second dose (of Pfizer) vaccine and the appearance of myocarditis among men aged 16 to 30."

    The study also found that of those who developed inflammation of the heart, most spent no more than four days in the hospital and that 95 percent of the cases were classified as "mild," Reuters reports. Specifically, the results showed that men between the ages of 16 and 19 were the most likely to be affected.

    News of the study comes after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on May 17 that its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) was investigating several reported cases of myocarditis in patients who had received the vaccine. Similar to the Israeli study's findings, the agency reported that there had been "relatively few" cases of the side effect mostly seen in younger male patients. But later, during a virtual meeting on May 24, the agency reported that data from the Vaccine Safety Datalink had shown there wasn't an abnormally high number of reported myocarditis cases among vaccine recipients.

    Some health experts bristled at the study's findings, arguing that parents should still vaccinate their children given the known serious potential complications that contracting COVID-19 poses to younger people. "This issue of a transient myocarditis associated with a vaccine is at the moment a theoretical and unproven risk," Paul Offit, MD, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said in a statement. "So I think that in the world of trying to weigh relative risks, the disease is a greater risk."

    Another expert pointed out that there may not be a causal link between the shots and the newly linked side effect. "It may simply be a coincidence that some people are developing myocarditis after vaccination," Celine Gounder, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York, told The New York Times on May 22. "It's more likely for something like that to happen by chance, because so many people are getting vaccinated right now."

    A new real-world study finds fewer side effects after vaccination with the Pfizer/BioNTech and the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines than reported in phase 3 clinical trials, while another paper notes some instances of facial paralysis after receipt of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine but no increased risk.

    Mild systemic side effects in 1 of 4

    In the first study, King's College London and other UK and US researchers mined data from the 627,383 users of the ZOE COVID Symptom Study app, who self-reported systemic and local side effects within 8 days of the receipt of one or two doses of the Pfizer vaccine or one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine from Dec 8, 2020, to Mar 10, 2021. The study was published yesterday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

    After the first Pfizer dose, 13.5% of recipients reported side effects, compared with 22.0% after the second Pfizer dose and 33.7% after the first AstraZeneca dose.

    One in four people receiving the Pfizer or AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines experienced mild systemic side effects. The most common systemic side effect was headache (7.8% of vaccinees after the first Pfizer dose, 13.2% after the second dose, and 22.8% after AstraZeneca).

    Other common systemic side effects were muscle aches and fatigue, the latter of which affected 8.4% and 14.4% of Pfizer vaccinees after the first and second doses, respectively, and 21.1% of AstraZeneca vaccinees these side effects peaked within 24 hours and lasted no more than 2 days.

    Among all vaccinees, 66.2% reported at least one side effect at the injection site. Of those receiving the first or second Pfizer doses, 57.2% and 50.9%, respectively, said they had tenderness at the injection site, as did 49.3% after the AstraZeneca vaccine.

    In contrast, in phase 3 clinical trials of the Pfizer vaccine, 71% to 83% of vaccinees reported pain at the injection site, 34% to 47% reported fatigue, and 25% to 42% reported headache. Likewise, the AstraZeneca vaccine trials found systemic side effects in 88% of participants 18 to 55 years after the first dose.

    Women and those younger than 55 years were most likely to report side effects, and those with a previous COVID-19 diagnosis were three times more likely than others to have systemic side effects after the first Pfizer dose, nearly twice as likely after an AstraZeneca dose, and also more likely to report local side effects.

    Mild symptoms, reduced infections

    In a King's College London news release, senior study author Tim Spector, MD, said the findings show that most side effects are non-severe and self-limiting. "The data should reassure many people that in the real world, after effects of the vaccine are usually mild and short-lived, especially in the over 50's who are most at risk of the infection," he said.

    "Rates of new disease are at a new low in the UK according to the ZOE app, due to a combination of social measures and vaccination, and we need to continue this successful strategy to cover the remaining population."

    The study also found a 58% reduction in infections 12 to 21 days after the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine (69% after at least 21 days) and a 39% reduction after the AstraZeneca vaccine (60% after at least 21 days) compared with controls.

    "Our data could be used to inform people on the likelihood of side-effects on the basis of their age and sex and the type of vaccine being administered," the authors concluded in the study. "Furthermore, our data support results from randomised controlled trials in a large community-based scenario showing evidence of reduction in infection after 12 days and substantial protection after 3 weeks."

    In a commentary in the same journal, Ruth Drury, MD, and Daniel O'Connor, DPhil, both of the University of Oxford, said the differences in side effects between the study and phase 3 trials could be due to differences in study populations, psychological differences in symptom reporting between those receiving an authorized vaccine and clinical trial participants, and study dropout (data may be more complete in clinical trials).

    "Overall, this study provides valuable information to health-care professionals and the general public on vaccine reactogenicity and effectiveness in the community setting," they sad. "In this era of rapid dissemination of information, good science communication has a crucial role to play in strengthening public confidence in vaccines and thus maximising vaccine uptake."

    No link between vaccine, facial paralysis

    In the second study, published yesterday in JAMA Internal Medicine, scientists from Grenoble Alpes University in France used the World Health Organization pharmacovigilance database, VigiBase, to conduct a disproportionality analysis after cases of facial paralysis were reported among participants in the phase 3 clinical trials of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines.

    The researchers conducted four analyses with two control groups, including all other viral vaccines and then with only flu vaccines, and broad and narrow facial paralysis definitions.

    Of the 35,654 participants receiving a vaccine, 7 developed facial paralysis, compared with 1 of 35,611 participants in the placebo group. Although a causal relationship couldn't be established, the US Food and Drug Administration recommended monitoring of vaccine recipients for facial paralysis.

    Of the 133,883 adverse reactions to the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines reported by Mar 9, 844 (0.6%) were related to facial paralysis, including 683 cases of facial paralysis, 168 of facial paresis (muscle weakness resulting from temporary or permanent damage to the facial nerve), 25 of facial spasms, and 13 of facial nerve disorders.

    Of the 844 total cases, 749 were reported with the Pfizer vaccine and 95 with the Moderna vaccine 67.8% involved women, and median patient age was 49 years. Median time from vaccination to facial paralysis onset was 2 days (range, 0 to 79).

    The researchers identified 5,734 cases of facial paralysis among the 1,265,182 adverse drug reactions reported with other viral vaccines (0.5%) and 2,087 among the 314,980 reported with flu vaccines (0.7%). They didn't observe any disproportionality signal of facial paralysis for broad or narrow facial paralysis definitions compared with other viral or flu vaccines alone.

    While isolated cases of facial paralysis have been reported for decades for virtually all vaccines, which are believed to be immune-mediated or produced by viral reactivation (eg, herpes virus), no study has identified a higher risk of vaccination-related facial paralysis, the authors said.

    "Despite selective reporting and a potential delay in reporting and transferring cases among pharmacovigilance databases, the reporting rate of facial paralysis after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination found in the present study is not higher than that observed with other viral vaccines," they wrote.

    "To conclude, if an association between facial paralysis and mRNA COVID-19 vaccines exists, the risk is likely very low, as with other viral vaccines."

    Less common side effects

    Upon receiving the vaccine, a person should be requested to stay for 15&ndash30 minutes at the vaccination site so health workers are available in case of any immediate reactions. Individuals should alert their local health providers following vaccination if they experience any unexpected side effects or other health events &ndash such as side effects lasting more than three days. Less common side effects reported for some COVID-19 vaccines have included severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis however, this reaction is extremely rare.

    National authorities and international bodies, including WHO, are closely monitoring for any unexpected side effects following COVID-19 vaccine use.

    Covid Vaccines Safe In Pregnancy Women Report More Side Effects

    Separate studies say that covid vaccines are safe in pregnancy and breastfeeding, and may benefit the baby. Also, women are reporting many more experiences with vaccine side effects than men, possibly for reasons relating to biology.

    NPR: COVID-19 Vaccine Safe For Mom And Baby, New Study Suggests
    Since the pandemic began, pregnant people have faced a difficult choice: to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. The risk of severe disease or even death from COVID-19 — while small — is higher during pregnancy. More than 82,000 coronavirus infections among pregnant individuals and 90 maternal deaths from the disease have been reported in the U.S. as of last month. But there's very little data on whether the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective during pregnancy, because people who are pregnant or breastfeeding weren't included in the initial clinical trials. (Pfizer recently began a new trial with 4,000 pregnant women.) (Greenhalgh, 4/2)

    ABC News: COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects Reported By Women More Than Men: Here's Why
    If you are a woman who felt more severe side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine than your brother, father, male coworker or partner, you are not alone and not imagining things. The majority of side effects from the vaccine reported so far have been among women. This might be because women are more likely to willing than men to acknowledge symptoms like headache and fatigue, but there also may be a biological reason why women experience more severe side effects than men, experts say. (Kindelan, 4/5)

    NBC News: Do You A Need Test To Tell You If You're Allergic To The Covid Vaccine Before Getting It?
    When reports of severe allergic reactions among recipients of Covid-19 vaccines started surfacing, Angelina Giunta became worried. Even though Giunta, 61, of Brooklyn, New York, was desperate to get the vaccine after a year in quarantine, she'd had two severe allergic reactions to medications during treatment for cancer in 2017. "I want to get the vaccine because I want to move on with my life," Giunta said. "But I was extremely concerned." (Edwards, 4/5)

    New Orleans Times-Picayune: Are Louisiana Residents Getting COVID After Vaccines? Yes, But 'Breakthrough Cases' Expected
    About 125 fully vaccinated people in Louisiana have tested positive for COVID-19 more than two weeks after their last dose. That there is a small number of "breakthrough case" is no surprise. “I think it’s in line with what you would expect from the trials,” said Dr. Joe Kanter, the state health officer. A recent study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are about 90% effective against infection once two weeks have passed since the second of two doses. The one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is about 72% effective against moderate to severe disease, according to U.S. trials. (Woodruff, 4/2)

    AP: The Final Insult: Some Dying Of COVID While Awaiting Vaccine
    After months of hoping to receive a COVID-19 immunization and then weeks of fighting the illness after one never came, Air Force veteran Diane Drewes was down to her last few breaths at a hospice center in Ohio when the phone rang. It was a health care worker, calling to schedule her first appointment for a coronavirus shot. Drewes’ daughter Laura Brown was stunned by the timing of the call in January but didn’t lash out over the phone or even explain that her 75-year-old mom was at the point of death. There just wasn’t any point, she said. “But me and my sister were upset that it came too late,” Brown said. “It seemed like the final insult.” (Reeves, 4/3)

    KHN: On The Air: Journalists Dive Deep Into Roots Of Vaccine Distrust In Prisons And Covid’s Toll On Public Health
    Reporter Eric Berger discussed vaccine hesitancy among inmates at a Missouri correctional center with Newsy on Thursday. . KHN Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Rosenthal discussed how the U.S. has focused on international terrorism at the expense of public health with the Los Angeles Times’ “Second Opinion” on March 28. She also joined North Carolina Public Radio’s “The People’s Pharmacy” radio program on March 25 to discuss how covid-19 has impacted the U.S. health system. (4/3)

    Politico: Pharmacies Score Customer Data In Vaccine Effort. Some Are Crying Foul
    Millions of Americans streaming through retail pharmacies to receive Covid vaccines have no choice but to hand over their personal information to those companies, raising red flags for privacy watchdogs who are pressing for oversight of how the pharmacies may use the data bonanza to boost their profits. Pharmacy chains like CVS Health, Walgreens, Rite Aid and others are playing an increasingly larger role in the nationwide inoculation effort, as vaccines become more widely available in the coming weeks. While providing vaccinations themselves aren’t a major moneymaker for the retailers, they have been able to scoop up data on new customers that could prove to be valuable. (Ravindranath and Luthi, 4/3)

    Should you laminate your vaccination card? —

    The New York Times: What You Need To Know About Your Covid-19 Vaccine Card
    Laminating your card will make it more durable if you’re planning to carry it around in your wallet, though there has been some concern about lamination because it would prevent information from future booster shots from being added. (de Leon, 4/4)

    CNN: You Should Think Twice Before Laminating Your Vaccine Card
    Vaccine eligibility in the US is expanding quickly, and so is the popularity of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's little white card. While plans to establish standardized vaccination proof are still being developed, many are holding to their Covid-19 vaccine cards as a potential form of social currency. And companies, like Staples and Office Depot, are offering to help keep them safe with free lamination. (Morava and Lear, 4/4)

    This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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