A survey conducted by noted public health experts indicated that the side-effects post-vaccination, or ‘reactogenicity’ in medical linguistic, is likely to occur in 66 per cent of the healthcare workers which are most probably to subside within a day of their onset.
The survey, which compiled the responses from 5,396 respondents, all healthcare professionals, who had received Covid vaccines, showed 66 per cent of them reported at least post-vaccination symptoms.
The respondents in the survey stated that the most commonly reported symptoms they experienced after immunization were Myalgia (44 per cent), fever (34 per cent), headache (28 per cent), local pain at injection site (27 per cent), joint pain (12 per cent), nausea (8 per cent) and Diarrhoea (3 per cent) while tiredness (45 per cent) being the most prevailing one. “The occurrence of other symptoms such as sore throat, insomnia, giddiness rigor, allergic rash, chills, vomiting, syncope were reported 1 per cent or less,” study said.
It also noted that the symptoms reported by the respondents were not severe in nature or required hospitalisation. Besides, the survey also pointed out that in 90 per cent of the cases, the symptoms were either milder than expected or met the expectation of the vaccine recipient.
Meanwhile, the survey illustrated that side effects among the most of the respondents did not last beyond the duration of 24 hours of the onset. “37 per cent (1,225) of the respondents revealed that their symptoms did not prolong more than a day while 31 per cent showed that their symptoms lingered for 48 hours, while only 6 per cent of claimed that their symptoms stretched beyond the duration of 48 hours,” the survey showed.
Speaking to IANS, Dr. Rajeev Jayadevan, past president Indian Medical Association, who is one of the researchers of the survey, said that one of the key takeaways from the survey is that vaccines are safe and there is no need to fear that it will harm ones’ body.
“If over 5,000 people who took it (vaccines) and reported no serious problem, then that is a considerable reassurance that the general public can take the vaccine,” he reaffirmed.
Another key finding of the survey was the linear correlation between age and post-vaccination symptoms suggested that the reactogenicity of the vaccine declined with age; means the chance of having symptoms decreased with advancing of age.
The frequency of symptoms was found highest, 81.34 per cent , in respondents aged between 20-29 years followed by 30-39 years (79.57 per cent), 40-49 years (67.94 per cent), 50-59 years (58.23 per cent), 60-69 years (44.76 per cent), 70-79 years (33.73 per cent), and 80-89 years (7.43 per cent).
Jayadevan said that younger people produce a lot of inflammatory cytokines which elicit reactogenicity (symptoms in layman terms) which is why they have vigorous response to the vaccines, whereas it is found lower in elder population. However, he added that the reactogenicity is not considered a reliable sign of producing antibodies.
“There is a misconception among people and even healthcare professionals who believe that the reactogenicity is associated with development of antibodies. Everyone responds differently to the vaccines and elicit varied levels of reactogenicity depending upon age and other factors at play. It cannot be considered as a sign to determine that one’s body is producing an immune response to the vaccines,” Jayadevan explained.
Dr. Ramesh Shenoy, another author of the survey, who is a senior radiologist at a hospital in Kochi, Kerala, said that the conclusions derived from the survey could be that the vaccines are safe while its side-effects are mild in nature and short lived. “The testimonies of the two third of the respondents vouch for it,” he added.