Concerns over the loss of immunity after the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162B2 mRNA vaccine prompted the Israeli Ministry of Health to launch a campaign on July 29, 2021 to give those who had received their second dose at least 5 months earlier a booster (third) dose.
The booster was initially recommended for people 60 years of age or older. This study investigated the incidence of adverse events (AEs) or side effects in people 60 years of age or older.
The survey listed members of Clalit Health Services (CHS), an organization that covers more than half of Israel’s population. People 60 years of age or older who received a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine within the first five days of the campaign (July 30 to August 3, 2021) were included in the study.
A total of 66,094 CHS members aged 60 and over who received booster doses during the study period were contacted, with 27,046 (40.9 percent) responding to the survey. The average age of the respondents was 71 years (IQR, 66-75 years); 43.6 percent are 60 to 69 years old, 44.5 percent are 70 to 79 years old and 12.0 percent are 80 years or older. Female respondents accounted for at least 45.3 percent of the total, and 49.2 percent had at least one risk factor for severe COVID-19.
30.0 percent of respondents said they had at least an AE, 24.8 percent said they had a local response and 16.6 percent said they had a systemic response. Pain (23.5 percent), fatigue (9.7 percent), and discomfort (7.2 percent) were the most common side effects at the injection site.
Most respondents (67.8 percent) said that their general feeling after the booster was comparable to how they felt after the second dose; 18.7 percent and 11.1 percent, however, said they had a mild or bad reaction. Only 1.2 percent sought medical help as a result of an AE.
Women were more likely to report AE than men (39.0 percent vs. 22.6 percent). Women were almost twice as likely to experience systemic reactions as men (22.9 percent vs. 11.4 percent).
People aged 60 to 69 were more likely to report systemic AE than those aged 70 or older (20.5 percent vs. 13.6 percent).
The researchers found that AEs following the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine booster shot were often moderate and did not require treatment. In this investigation, the proportion of self-reported AE was similar or lower than that observed in several previous studies after the second vaccine dose was given.
Meni et al. We discovered a comparative proportion of systemic responses in adults after the second dose of the vaccine as we found in our experiment after the third dose (16.4 percent vs. 16.6 percent).
Female respondents were more likely to experience systemic AE than male respondents, with a higher proportion of participants in the younger age group (60–69 years) than in the older age group.
In previous studies, similar results were recorded after administering a second vaccine dose. There was an error in our study of different survey methods of 3-5 different ages, which may lead to inconsistencies in the reported percentages of AE.
Image Credit: Getty
You were reading: Five most common side effects after the third shot of Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162B2 – Study