Oral Adverse Events Following COVID-19 Vaccination: Analysis of VAERS Reports

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RIAD Abanoub POLD Ave KATEEB Elham ATTIA Sameh

Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Frontiers in Public Health
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Web https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2022.952781/full
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2022.952781
Keywords anaphylaxis; COVID-19 vaccines; drug-related side effects and adverse reactions; oral manifestations; pharmacovigilance oral adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination 2
Description Background: Oral adverse events (AEs) following COVID-19 vaccination have been sporadically reported during the previous months, warranting further investigation for their prevalence and suspected relationship with vaccine-elicited immune response. Methods: A retrospective analysis using the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) data was conducted to evaluate AEs within the oral cavity (mucosa, tongue, lips, palate, dentition, salivary glands) and AEs involving taste and other sensations. Oral AEs reported after receiving COVID-19 vaccination (test group) and seasonal influenza vaccination (control group) were extracted and cross-tabulated to assess their relative prevalence. Results: Among the 128 solicited (suspected) oral AEs, oral paresthesia (0.872%) was most reported after receiving COVID-19 vaccines, followed by the swelling of lips (0.844%), ageusia (0.722%), oral hypoesthesia (0.648%), swollen tongue (0.628%), and dysgeusia (0.617%). The reported prevalence of oral AEs was higher in the COVID-19 vaccine group than in the seasonal influenza group. The distribution pattern of the most reported oral AEs was similar for both COVID-19 and seasonal influenza vaccines. Female sex, older age (>39 years old), primer doses, and mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines exhibited a higher reported prevalence of oral AEs. Conclusion: Within the limitations of this study, COVID-19 vaccines were found to be associated with rare oral AEs that are predominantly similar to those emerging following seasonal influenza vaccines. The most commonly reported oral AEs were oral paraesthesia (mouth-tingling), lip swelling, and ageusia, representing various pathophysiologic pathways that remain unclear. Taste-related AEs should be acknowledged in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the public should be adequately informed about a potential taste dysfunction after receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. Dentists and dental teams need to be aware of the prevalence, severity, and prognosis of oral AEs to inform their patients and increase public confidence in vaccines.
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