Characteristics and outcomes of adverse events after Covid-19 vaccination

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  • A study looked at the need for emergency care after Covid-19 vaccination.
  • The researchers observed emergency care units in 11 American hospitals for four months.
  • They found that the risk of adverse events after vaccination was low.

A new study has found that the risk of adverse events after Covid-19 vaccination is much lower than the risks associated with the actual disease.

The study published in the Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians Open aimed to give a detailed account of the patients who presented to the emergency department (ED) within ten days after their first or second dose of Covid-19 vaccination. 

The researchers conducted a multicentre study across 11 hospitals in the United States between 11 December 2020 and 25 March 2021.

They investigated the causes of emergency unit visits and hospital or intensive care unit (ICU) admissions after Covid-19 vaccine administration.

They identified 153 726 patients who presented to the emergency department during the study period.

Only 1 842 patients, however, were admitted within ten days of their first or second Covid-19 vaccine shot. In total, 1 221 patients presented after the first dose of the vaccine and only 653 after the second dose.

Adverse events 

The study found that the percentage of adverse events after vaccination stool at 0.415% in the cohort. Approximately 40% of the patients with adverse events following immunisation in the emergency department required hospital admission as decided by an emergency physician. Around 2.3% of those required a higher level of care, such as an ICU admission.

The study results show that of all study patients admitted to the hospital, 3.8% presented with acute coronary syndrome and angina and only 1.4% were found to have had a heart attack. 

The researchers observed that the chances of needing emergency care after vaccination were meagre compared to Covid-19 infection.

"Based on the total number of patients who presented to the emergency department, we observed a higher mortality rate among non-vaccinated patients (2.6%) when compared to vaccinated patients (2.2%) who presented during the same period and followed up for the same duration," the authors wrote.

*For more Covid-19 research, science and news, click here. You can also sign up for our Daily Dose newsletter here.

READ | Covid-19 reinfection likely in unvaccinated people, US researchers find

READ | Mental health: Grief, loss - we are all traumatised, says psychiatrist on the Covid-19 frontlines


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