A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysis of safety data has documented extremely small numbers of serious adverse reactions during the first month of coronavirus vaccinations in the U.S., with “no unusual or unexpected reporting patterns.”
From mid-December to mid-January, over 13.7 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were administered across the country. According to the study, just under 7,000 adverse events were reported to vaccine surveillance systems during that time frame, with the majority of events categorized as “non serious” and 640 – less than 10% of the reported adverse events – documented as “serious.”
The most frequently reported symptoms after vaccination were headache, fatigue and dizziness.
Photos: COVID-19 Vaccinations
“It’s important to know that about half the people don’t feel very well after getting their second dose,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a briefing on Friday. “This should not deter you from getting your second dose, but you need to have a light day of activity after getting vaccinated.”
The study found that 113 deaths were reported to surveillance systems. The majority of deaths – 65% – were among long-term care facility residents. Information from available death certificates and other medical records “did not suggest any causal relationship between COVID-19 vaccination and death,” the study said.
“A thorough review of the available data indicated that these deaths were not related to the COVID-19 vaccine,” Walensky said.
She also noted that the rate of anaphylaxis – a severe but treatable allergic reaction – after vaccination was similar to other commonly used vaccines at 4.5 cases per 1 million doses during the study period. The study documented 62 reports of anaphylaxis with 46 cases following the Pfizer vaccine and 16 after the Moderna vaccine.
Walensky said that “we continued to hear that people might be reluctant to roll up their sleeves because of adverse effects” but added that the vaccines “are safe, and they will save lives.”