Most Common Side Effects Reported After COVID Vaccine

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published new data Friday listing the most common side effects Americans reported after receiving COVID-19 vaccines.

Most frequently reported side effects include headache, fatigue, dizziness, chills, and nausea, and the CDC said the occurrence of reactions is in the range of those reported for the influenza vaccine.

The data is based on submissions to the agency’s text messaging system and a national vaccine safety surveillance program known as the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

The analysis used data from the first month of vaccinations, between Dec. 14, 2020, and Jan. 13., when there were more than 13.7 million doses of Pfizer or Moderna administered.

The median age of vaccine recipients was 42, according to the data, and the majority of adverse events occurred in women, data shows.

The CDC said there were 6,994 reports of adverse events after vaccination, including 6,354 that were classified as “non-serious” and 640 as “serious,” which included 113 deaths, CNBC reports.

Headache, fatigue and dizziness, followed by chills and nausea were the most common side effects after getting the vaccine.

The CDC said people also reported muscle aches, fever, joint pain, and pain at the injection site.

For the Pfizer vaccine, reactions were more frequent after the second dose than the first, according to the data CNBC reported.

The CDC said the reported rate of fever and chills was more than four times higher after the second dose than after the first.

The CDC data shows 46 cases of anaphylaxis — a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction — from those who received Pfizer’s vaccine, and 16 cases for those who received Moderna’s.

Out of the 113 deaths reported, two-thirds occurred in long-term care facilities, the CDC said.

CNBC reports that medical experts say side effects for vaccines are common and are actually an indication the shots are working as intended. 

Both Pfizer and Moderna have acknowledged that their vaccines could induce side effects that are similar to symptoms.

While the side effects may be unpleasant CNBC reports that physicians say the vaccines are safe.

The CDC recommends talking to a doctor about taking over-the-counter medicine if an individual experiences pain or discomfort after getting the vaccination.

Written by Megan Turner

Megan graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


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  1. It’s amazing we can have at the same time both a hatred for GMO’s and processed food, and be willing to ingest elixirs that are unproven in their long-term efficacy and no known list of side effects. And, some people are going to die because of the elixir.

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