What are the most common side effects of the Covid-19 vaccine in Switzerland?

What are the most common side effects of the Covid-19 vaccine in Switzerland?
Vaccine causes few side effects in Switzerland. Photo by Jacob King / POOL / AFP
There is a lot of talk about potential risks associated with the coronavirus vaccine. But as the new data from Switzerland’s drug authorisation agency shows, serious side effects are very are.

The agency, Swissmedic, analysed 1,174 reports of suspected adverse reactions to Pfizer / Biontech and Moderna vaccines, the only two used in Switzerland.

To put this number in perspective, nearly 1.7 million people have been vaccinated in Switzerland so far. Just over 645,000 people have received both doses.

The number of recorded side effects for both vaccines are nearly the same: 577 reports involve Pfizer, while 580 are associated with Moderna.

Most of the adverse reactions (778) were judged as not serious, while 396 were found to be more severe. “In most cases, however, the persons concerned were not in danger”, Swissmedic said.

The most common serious reactions included fever (56 cases), shortness of breath (31), headache/migraine (28), reactivation of shingles (26), hypersensitivity (22), vomiting (20), fatigue symptoms (19), blood pressure rise (19), dizziness (18), Covid-like symptoms (17) and severe allergic reactions (12).

The most common reactions, which accounted for 56 percent of side effects, were injection site pain or swelling, as well as fever, headaches, muscle pain and shivering.

Fifty-five people died  after receiving the vaccine. Their average age was 84 years, and the majority had serious pre-existing conditions.

“Despite a chronological correlation, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that the vaccination was the cause of death”, Swissmedic said.

The agency added that the adverse reactions “do not change the positive benefit-risk ratio of Covid vaccines”.

READ MORE: ‘Possible link’ between AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots, EMA concludes


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