Side Effects of mRNA-Based COVID-19 Vaccine: Nationwide Phase IV Study among Healthcare Workers in Slovakia

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Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Pharmaceuticals
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Keywords BNT162b2 vaccine; cross-sectional studies; COVID-19; drug-related side effects and adverse reactions; health personnel; mass vaccination; prevalence
Description mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines such as BNT162b2 have recently been a target of anti-vaccination campaigns due to their novelty in the healthcare industry; nevertheless, these vaccines have exhibited excellent results in terms of efficacy and safety. As a consequence, they acquired the first approvals from drug regulators and were deployed at a large scale among priority groups, including healthcare workers. This phase IV study was designed as a nationwide cross-sectional survey to evaluate the post-vaccination side effects among healthcare workers in Slovakia. The study used a validated self-administered questionnaire that inquired about participants’ demographic information, medical anamneses, COVID-19-related anamnesis, and local, systemic, oral, and skin-related side effects following receiving the BNT162b2 vaccine. A total of 522 participants were included in this study, of whom 77% were females, 55.7% were aged between 31 and 54 years, and 41.6% were from Banska Bystrica. Most of the participants (91.6%) reported at least one side effect. Injection site pain (85.2%) was the most common local side effect, while fatigue (54.2%), headache (34.3%), muscle pain (28.4%), and chills (26.4%) were the most common systemic side effects. The reported side effects were of a mild nature (99.6%) that did not require medical attention and a short duration, as most of them (90.4%) were resolved within three days. Females and young adults were more likely to report post-vaccination side effects; such a finding is also consistent with what was previously reported by other phase IV studies worldwide. The role of chronic illnesses and medical treatments in post-vaccination side effect incidence and intensity requires further robust investigation among large population groups.
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