Studies look at reactions to COVID vaccines

19/12/2022 | 2 mins

Two studies into COVID-19 vaccinations in Australian pharmacies have found fewer people reported adverse reactions compared to those who received the jabs at medical practices and vaccine hubs. 

Dr Sandra Salter, from The University of Western Australia’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and School of Allied Health, said in the first study adverse reactions were noted immediately after the jab and the second study noted reactions days and weeks later.  There were 314 participating pharmacies.

“The good news is, the most common types of reactions reported were injection site reactions, aches and pains and fatigue, which is similar to other research,” Dr Salter said.

“However, interestingly, we saw substantially lower numbers of these reactions after pharmacy vaccinations compared to vaccinations in other locations.

“We feel being vaccinated in a pharmacy reduces medicalisation of the process – people are less inclined to focus on the procedure or its after-effects and instead view it as routine.”

Dr Salter said one of the most common immediate adverse effect was fainting and it was reported in 0.05 per cent of cases. 

“We did find there were fewer fainting episodes reported on the second dose suggesting people were more anxious when they got their first jab but more relaxed during subsequent vaccinations,” Dr Salter said.

She said 23 anaphylactic reactions were reported, from almost 1 million vaccinations, and in 80 per cent of cases adrenaline was given. 

“This is the most comprehensive paper reporting adverse effects experienced by Australians in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, and includes children under 12 years,” Dr Salter said.

She said people should be reassured by the safety of the program, particularly as it linked vaccine safety reports from pharmacy vaccinations with Australia’s vaccine safety surveillance system, AusVaxSafety. Pharmacy software provider, MedAdvisor International facilitated both studies and support AusVaxSafety’s ongoing vaccine safety monitoring.

The papers, Immediate Adverse Events Following COVID-19 Vaccination in Australian Pharmacies: A Retrospective Review and Safety of Four COVID-19 Vaccines across Primary Doses 1, 2, 3 and Booster: A Prospective Cohort Study of Australian Community Pharmacy Vaccinations have been published in the journal MDPI Vaccines.


Media references

Cecile O’Connor  (UWA Media & PR Advisor)      6488 6876

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