Updated February 20th, 2021 at 21:36 IST

Thousands of Americans have experienced 'severe' reactions to COVID vaccines: CDC report

Fewer than 10 per cent of patients had a reaction like an anaphylactic shock that was classified as 'serious' by the agency's VAERS.

Apoorva Kaul
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Thousands of Americans have experienced bad reactions after receiving coronavirus vaccines, as per a report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 7000 people had an adverse event after being given either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna Shot. Among persons who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, reactions reported to the v-safe system were more frequent after receipt of the second dose than after the first. 

Bad reactions in US

Fewer than 10 per cent of patients had a reaction like an anaphylactic shock that was classified as 'serious' by the agency's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). According to the CDC report, from December 14, 2020–January 13, 2021, a total of 13,794,904 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in the United States, out of which 8,436,863 (61.2%) doses were administered to women. VAERS received 6,994 reports of COVID-19–associated adverse events during this period. Among all reports, 6,354 (90.8%) were classified as nonserious and 640 (9.2%) were classified as serious, including 113 (1.6%) deaths. 

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According to the CDC report, the median age of vaccine recipients in VAERS reports was 42 years (range = 15–104 years). In addendum, 5,505 (78.7%) reports were submitted for adverse events in women. The most common side effect reported was headache (22.4%). It was followed by fatigue and dizziness, which was reported by 16.5 per cent of all the patients. There were 62 confirmed cases of a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.

Anaphylactic shock refers to a severe allergic reaction that occurs within minutes of being exposed to an allergen. When exposed to an allergen, like food or medicine, Anaphylactic shock results in the person's blood pressure drastically dropping. The blood pressure dropping prevents oxygen supply to your body's cells and organs. If not treated immediately, it can be fatal.

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According to the CDC report, of the 62 cases, 74.2 per cent occurred after patients were given the Pfizer vaccine and 16 cases after they received the Moderna vaccine. The CDC tracker also reported that a total of 57.7 million people have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. About 41 million people - 12.5 per cent of the population have received one dose while 16.1 million people - 4.9 per cent are fully immunized.


Published February 20th, 2021 at 21:36 IST

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