COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effect Tracker

person receives vaccine

Most Recent Updates:

 

To help you sort through the news on the COVID-19 vaccine’s progress, MedShadow has created the MedShadow Vaccine Tracker, the only tracker focused on the side effects and adverse events associated with proposed COVID-19 vaccinations.

Rather than injecting patients with a weakened virus or proteins from the pathogen that our immune systems can recognize, which is what’s typically done when we get a flu vaccine, the new vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer — the two that made it to the market first in the U.S. — contain mRNA (messenger RNA), which is a genetic template that instructs our cells to build the viral proteins that our immune systems can then recognize. Its main perk is that allowing our bodies to produce the proteins (rather than growing them in a lab like traditional vaccines) slashes production time. For nearly 20 years, researchers have been interested in using mRNA in vaccines; and some were even tested in early clinical trials for rabies, influenza and Zika. However, the vaccines for COVID-19 will be the first mRNA vaccines ever authorized by the FDA.

Some risks and minor side effects, such as a sore arm where the vaccine is injected or a light skin rash, are clearly worth the benefit of being protected against a disease. Where to draw the line at what is or is not acceptable is a personal decision. That’s where the MedShadow Vaccine Tracker can help. 

On the tracker, we will be publishing up-to-date Phase 3 results information about the risks of each vaccination. Phase 3 tests the vaccine for safety and efficacy in large groups of people (tens of thousands) and is the last stage before the FDA considers approval for use in the population at large. We continue following verified reports as the vaccines are offered to the general public. It is important to note that reports of events occurring after vaccination are not inherently linked to it. As countries begin to vaccinate hundreds of millions of people, some would inevitably be diagnosed with illnesses or pass away each day with or without the injections.

Jump to:

ModernaPfizerCanSinBio (China) | Gameleya (Russia) | Johnson & Johnson

AstrazenecaNovavax (UK)Sinopharm (China)Sinovac (China)Murdoch (England)|Bharat Biotech

 


Moderna

Moderna started Phase III clinical trials for its vaccine candidate in July. In earlier trials, nearly half of patients experienced common adverse effects like injection site pain, rash, headaches, muscle soreness, nausea and fevers after the second injection. These effects generally subsided within two days. CNBC spoke to a few individuals, some participating in Moderna’s trial and some in Pfizer’s trial who said much the same thing: the side effects were intense and included a high fever, body aches, bad headaches and exhaustion, but were worth it for protection from Covid-19.

In the FDA report published in December, the most common side effects were pain at injection site (91.6% of patients), fatigue (68.5%), headache (63.0%), muscle pain (59.6%), joint pain (44.8%), and chills (43.4%). Three patients experienced Bell’s Palsy, a sudden, and usually temporary, weakening or paralysis of the facial muscles.

The CDC reports that 11% of patients experienced swollen lymph nodes after the first shot. That raised to 16% after the second shot.

A few patients with facial fillers experienced swelling after receiving the vaccine. They were treated with antihistamines and steroids.

January 18: In California, officials halted the use of one particular batch of Moderna vaccines (lot 41L20A) after a small cluster (fewer than 10) of patients at one particular site experienced allergic reactions that required medical attention.

February 1: A study posted on Feb 1 showed that patients who received the vaccine after having been previously infected with COVID-19 showed greater immune response to the first shot and more intense side effects that are associated with strong immune responses like fever and muscle aches. The study included patients who received either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. Some scientists believe these patients may only need a single shot to provide sufficient immunity, but more research is needed.

February 12: Out of the first 7.5 million doses administered from Dec 14- Jan 18, 19 cases of anaphylaxis were reported to VAERS after the Moderna vaccine. No patients have died from anaphylaxis. Patients are now being monitored for 15-30 minutes after receiving the vaccine to watch for signs of anaphylaxis. The CDC suggests that anyone who has an immediate allergic reaction to a single dose of an mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) should not get the second dose. If your reaction was not immediate, you may be referred to an allergy specialist. The vaccines do not contain polysorbate, but do have a related ingredient, polyethylene glycol (PEG). If you have an allergy to either of these chemicals, you should not get the vaccines. 

Many patients are reporting injection site reactions that show up shortly after the injection or up to a week later. These reactions — which are characterized by swelling, redness, itching, rashes, heat and pain — are expected to last a day to a week. Physicians emphasize that while these effects can be scary, they are not dangerous and should not prevent someone from getting the second shot. So far, doctors do not report seeing these reactions after the second shot, however so few have been given so far that scientists are not sure how common it will be on round two.

March 3: Allergy researchers at Mass General Hospital created a registry for healthcare professionals to report  immediate and delayed reactions to COVID-19 vaccinations. On March 3, the researchers published a letter in the New England Journal of Medicine describing a series of 12 delayed injection site reactions including swelling and rashes. The researchers wrote that one patient received antibiotics although they were not necessary. Several others were treated with steroids or anti inflammatories. The letter included some photos and said that the reactions cleared up within a median of six days. Patients were encouraged to receive their second dose. Half of them did not experience the reaction the second time. A quarter did, but to a lesser degree.

March 8: Researchers from Mass General Brigham published a Research Letter in JAMA analyzing allergic reactions in employees who received their shots there. Out of 52,805 participants, 2.1% experienced some kind of allergic reaction, including hives, itching, rash, swelling or respiratory symptoms within the first three days after vaccination. Allergies were slightly more common with the Moderna vaccine than the Pfizer vaccine (2.2% compared to 1.95%). Sixteen experienced anaphylaxis.

Moderna has announced that it will begin testing its vaccine in children and adolescents, who they believe may have stronger immune responses, leading to more intense side effects.


Pfizer

Pfizer began Phase III clinical trial for its vaccine candidate in July. In earlier trials, some patients experienced common adverse effects like injection site pain, rash, headaches, muscle soreness, nausea and fevers. These effects generally subsided within two days. CNBC spoke to a few individuals, some participating in Pfizer’s trial and others in Moderna’s trial who said much the same thing: the side effects were intense and included a high fever body aches, bad headaches and exhaustion in addition to the more common side effects, but were worth it for protection from Covid-19.

Some patients described the side effects as being similar to a bad hangover. A nurse who participated in the clinical trial reported feeling minimal effects after the first dose, but a fever that reached more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit after the second injection, along with chills, headache, and intense injection site pain. According to researchers, her experience of having all symptoms together was rare, though many patients had one or two of these side effects. “Clinicians will need to be prepared to discuss with patients why they should trust the vaccine and that its adverse effects could look a lot like COVID-19,” the nurse wrote on Dec 7.

The FDA report published in December said the most common reactions were injection site reactions (84.1%), fatigue (62.9%), headache (55.1%), muscle pain (38.3%), chills (31.9%), joint pain (23.6%), fever (14.2%). Swollen lymph nodes occurred in 0.3% of patients. The FDA reported that four patients who received the vaccine experienced Bell’s Palsy.

January 12: A doctor in Florida died 16 days after receiving the vaccine from a rare blood disorder, acute immune thrombocytopenia. Both Pfizer and the CDC are investigating, though the company has released a statement that so far, they haven’t seen any signs in the clinical trials or data collected from early vaccinations that the death could be related to the vaccine. The blood disorder immune thrombocytopenia, has also been seen as a rare complication of COVID-19 itself, in both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.

January 19: Twenty-three elderly patients in Norway died after receiving Pfizer’s vaccine. Officials are investigating whether or not the deaths are vaccine-related. Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, suggests that while the deaths may be coincidental given the fragile population, it’s possible that side effects of the vaccines, like fevers, may have strained the frail patients’ bodies and contributed to their deaths. Norway has vaccinated about 45,000 people so far, most of whom live in nursing homes.

February 1: A study posted on Feb 1 showed that patients who received the vaccine after having been previously infected with COVID-19 showed greater immune response to the first shot and more intense side effects that are associated with strong immune responses like fever and muscle aches. The study included patients who received either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. Some scientists believe these patients may only need a single shot to provide sufficient immunity, but more research is needed.

February 12: Out of the first 9.9 million doses administered from Dec 14- Jan 18, 47 cases of anaphylaxis were reported to VAERS after the Pfizer vaccine. Patients are now being monitored for 15-30 minutes after receiving the vaccine to watch for signs of anaphylaxis. The CDC suggests that anyone who has an immediate allergic reaction to a single dose of an mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) should not get the second dose. If your reaction was not immediate, you may be referred to an allergy specialist. The vaccines do not contain polysorbate, but do have a related ingredient, polyethylene glycol (PEG). If you have an allergy to either of these chemicals, you should not get the vaccines. 

March 8: Researchers from Mass General Brigham published a Research Letter in JAMA analyzing allergic reactions in employees who received their shots there. Out of 52,805 participants, 2.1% experienced some kind of allergic reaction, including hives, itching, rash, swelling or respiratory symptoms within the first three days after vaccination. Allergies were slightly more common with the Moderna vaccine than the Pfizer vaccine (2.2% compared to 1.95%). Sixteen experienced anaphylaxis.


CanSinBio (China) 

China granted the CanSinBio vaccine emergency approval prior to beginning a Phase III trial in August. In the Phase II trial, nearly three-quarters of patients reported at least one common mild adverse events including injection site pain, rash, headaches, muscle soreness, and fevers. Five people also reported vomiting.


Gamaleya Research Institute (Russia)

Gamaleya Research Institute launched Phase III trials in August. But before they got started, President Putin announced that the vaccine was approved early, however, the Phase III trials are expected to continue. In the earlier trials, almost all of the patients experienced low-grade fevers. A small number of patients reported heart palpitations. Otherwise, reported side effects were similar to other vaccines and included injection site pain, rash, headaches, and muscle soreness.

Feb 2: The group reported efficacy data along with some data on side effects in The Lancet. The most common adverse events were flu-like illness (15.2% of those vaccinated) and local reactions (5.4% of those vaccinated).

The report also states that there were six grade 3 adverse events which were not associated with the vaccination: acute sinusitis, an exacerbation of urolithiasis along with renal colic and deep vein thrombosis (both associated with pre-existing comorbidities) and extremity abscess (due to physical injury and subsequent infection of the wound surface of the soft tissues of the finger).


Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson started a Phase III trial for its vaccine candidate in September 2020, but paused it on October 12 due to an unexplained illness and remains on hold. The company announced it would restart the trial on October 26. Pauses are common during clinical trials to evaluate specific adverse events, but the company has not shared details about the illness experienced by one of the trial volunteers. In earlier trials, about 70% of patients experienced at least one mild adverse effect similar to those seen with other vaccines, including injection site pain, rash, headaches, muscle soreness, and fevers.

On Feb 24, Johnson & Johnson shared data from its Phase III trials. The data suggested that while the vaccine is slightly less protective overall (but more protective against the 501Y.V2 variant that emerged from South Africa,) than the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, it produced fewer side effects.

The report says the most common reactions were injection site reactions (50.2%), fatigue (38.2%), headache (38.9%), muscle pain (33.2%), nausea (14.2%) and fever (9.0%).  Reactions were more common in patients under 60 than over 60.

Injection site pain lasted a median of 2 days, but up to 7 days in 2.3% of patients.

April 8: A vaccination site in Colorado paused operations after 11 patients became nauseous and dizzy minutes after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Two patients were transmitted to the hospital, but the rest were deemed healthy enough to return home. Officials said that those vaccinated at the same site should not be concerned.


April 13: The U.S. is calling for a pause on distributing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while the FDA and CDC investigate blood clots that occurred in six patients (out of 7 million who received the vaccine so far.) One patient died and another was hospitalized. All the clots occurred in women under 50 within two weeks of receiving the vaccine. The issue is similar to the one seen with the AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe.


Astrazeneca

On September 6, the company paused the trial to investigate a patient who developed transverse myelitis – dangerous inflammation of the spinal cord. Researchers determined that the incident was unrelated to the vaccine and quickly restarted the trial in most countries, however it remained paused in the US until October 26. On October 21, scientists reported a patient in the trial had died, however, according to a local newspaper, the patient was in the control arm of the trial, meaning they’d received a placebo instead of the vaccine, so the trial is ongoing.

In earlier trials, many patients reported mild adverse effects similar to those associated with the other vaccines including injection site pain, rash, headaches, muscle soreness, and fevers. The team gave some of these patients preventative acetaminophen to reduce pain and fever. Nearly half of patients also experienced temporary neutropenia – a reduction in white blood cells that can make a person more susceptible to infections.

The vaccine has been approved for use in the U.K., Argentina, India, E.U. and Mexico.

March 11: Denmark has paused the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine while it investigates whether it is responsible for blood clots — one fatal — in some patients.

“It is important for us that the citizens are confident in the offer we give them and trust that we can vouch for the quality of the vaccines we have in our program. Therefore, we react promptly until we have investigated whether there is a connection between the vaccine and the possible side effects ,” officials wrote in a press release.

March 15: Several other countries (Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy, France and Germany) have also paused use of the vaccine while unusual clotting events are investigated. Meanwhile, Thailand, which paused its use on Friday, March 12 restarted it on Sunday, March 14. On Sunday, AstraZeneca released a statement that its own review revealed “no increased risk” of clotting issues with the vaccine and that “So far across the  EU and UK, there have been 15 events of DVT [deep vein thrombosis] and 22 events of pulmonary embolism reported among those given the vaccine, based on the number of cases the Company has received as of 8 March. This is much lower than would be expected to occur naturally in a general population of this size and is similar across other licensed COVID-19 vaccines.”

March 18: The European Medicines Agency (EMA) issued a statement that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the risks. The vaccine is not associated with an overall risk of blood clots, though there may be a very small increased risk of certain types of clots. The statement reads, “These are rare cases – around 20 million people in the UK and EEA had received the vaccine as of March 16 and EMA had reviewed only 7 cases of blood clots in multiple blood vessels (disseminated intravascular coagulation, DIC) and 18 cases of CVST [clots in the vessels that drain blood from the brain.] A causal link with the vaccine is not proven, but is possible and deserves further analysis.” These cases were more common in women under the age of 55. Germany, France, Italy, Latvia, Bulgaria and Slovenia have all stated that they’d restart or continue to offer the AstraZeneca vaccine in light of the news.

April 7: The EMA still says the benefits of the vaccines outweigh the risks. However, the group has suggested that blood clots be listed as a possible, albeit rare, side effect of the injection and that both patients and doctors be aware of the signs which include: shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent abdominal pain, neurological symptoms like blurry vision and blood spots under the skin beyond the site of injection. If you have these symptoms, seek medical assistance.


April 9: Out of 34 million recipients of the vaccine, 222 have reported blood clots. They appear to be more likely in younger patients, but it’s otherwise impossible to predict who will experience them. Some experts say they can be treated with intravenous immune globulin, which is currently used to treat immune disorders along with some types of blood thinners .


Novavax (United Kingdom)

Novavax began Phase III clinical trials with its vaccine candidate in the United Kingdom in September and is had planned to start a trial in the United States in October. The trial was delayed due to manufacturing problems. The U.S. trial started on December 28. During Phase I/II trials, patients reported adverse events similar to those of other vaccine candidates, including injection site pain, rash, headaches, muscle pain, fever, nausea and vomiting. 


 Sinopharm (China) 

In July, Sinopharm launched Phase III trials of its two vaccine candidates in the United Arab Emirates, Peru, Morocco, and Argentina, which are now approved for limited use in healthcare workers in China and the UAE. In earlier trials of one of the vaccines, made in collaboration with Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, about 15% of the patients reported adverse events similar to those of other vaccine candidates, including injection site pain, rash, headaches, muscle pain, fever, nausea and vomiting. There is little data available about the second vaccine, made in collaboration with the Beijing Institute of Biological Products.


Sinovac (China)

Sinovac opened Phase III trials of its vaccine candidate, CoronaVac, in July. It is already being used with emergency approval for high risk individuals in China. The earlier trials showed that about a third of patients experienced adverse effects similar to those in other vaccine candidates like injection site pain, fever, and fatigue, but the study included few details about more specific symptoms like nausea, headaches, and vomiting. On November 10, the trial was halted in Brazil due to a participant’s death. However, researchers say the death was not vaccine-related and the trial should continue. It has not been halted in other countries.


Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (England)

The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute is running a Phase III trial repurposing Bacillus Calmette-Guerin — a vaccine developed nearly a century ago to prevent tuberculosis infections — to prevent Covid-19. Since the vaccine has been around such a long time, there are many reports on its potential adverse effects and the vaccine itself has been altered to minimize many of them. Injection site reactions are common, and lymphadenitis, swelling of the lymph nodes, is common.  

Bharat Biotech

Bharat Biotech announced it would begin Phase III trials in India on October 23. In early trials demonstrated side effect profiles similar to those of the other vaccines, including pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, and fever. The country announced emergency approval, though no Phase III data was included in the announcement.

 


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Lois Vierk
Lois Vierk
5 months ago

Thanks very much for developing the Covid 19 vaccine side-effects tracker. This will be very important information to have!

Mads Wedel-Ibsen
Mads Wedel-Ibsen
5 months ago

I find it embarrassing that the “vaccine” administered to the control group of the Astrazeneca trials is falsely called a placebo when in fact the control group also had actual vaccines. This makes the control group as susceptible for side effects as the main group just as the case with the fraudulent approval of the HPV-vaccine Gardasil where the control group also received all the ingredients just not the antigens. By comparing a vaccine to something that is not a real placebo will make the comparison ridiculous due to the fact that both groups will have similar effects. In the… Read more »

david rg cummins
david rg cummins
4 months ago

dear sir i havean allergy with penecilin after i cut a finger seventy years ago. i am now 82 and expecting to get the covid vacine so would it be safe to have the vacination.
can you help ? drg cummins.

Mark H
Mark H
4 months ago

I am concerned with statements like “these solicited adverse events were generally short-lived.” Pfizer’s report has similar language (‘most’ resolved within 2-3 days). These vague sentences could mean ‘nearly half the time symptoms persisted indefinitely’! Did all instances of fever or fatigue, for example, resolve eventually? Or did some people have fevers and fatigue for weeks and still had them when the follow up period ended?

Michael
Michael
4 months ago

If people realized how ridiculous is to give those “vague” sentences for something as important as health, side effects, symptoms….. But it just shows that human-factor and human-life is not as important as “the end goal” of “eliminating a virus”…..
I would be much more concerned with all the biolabs in existence throughout the world…. The reason why should we LET this labs exist, instead of banning them! What makes them less dangerous than “weapons of mass destruction”?!

Kim
Kim
4 months ago

I am a volunteer with the Astrazeneca program and have a serious concern regarding their protocols and disclosure. I tolerated the initial injection without side-effects yet developed a strange auto-immune response immediately after the second injection. On the morning after the second injection, I noticed a large nodule on the middle joint of my finger which has not resolved. I have left several messages with the team advising of this development and have yet to receive a return call. While this is obviously not life-threatening, I strongly believe that it is a side-effect of the vaccine which should be noted… Read more »

m
m
3 months ago

A rheumatologist should be including in follow up of adverse side effects after the last shot and every month after for 6 months or so. Checking inflammation over time and markers for disease is important. This symptoms that “usually” go away can be symptoms or early stages of a chronic disease. Leaving it to the public to report side effects is difficult because many do not understand their body or have access to good health care and by the time they do find a diagnosis it is later after visits to multiple doctors.

sandra
sandra
3 months ago

i had my covid 19 vaccine and the day after i ended in the emergency room with shorth of breath, tachycardia , high blood pressure, nauseas, chills, dizziness they did all tests possible and the conclusion is that had a very bad reaction to the vaccine . I am 43 years healthy don’t have any medical conditions and my covid 19 test was negative . is scary how people is reactioning to the vaccine not sure if I will get the second dose

Arnold
Arnold
3 months ago

Its good to know how risky,the risk potential long term is unknown, but since there is a safe and effective natural therapy-why bother,

Kimberly
Kimberly
3 months ago

I am a 61 yo working nurse with Asthma and Diabetes. I got my first injection at 0815 and by 1000 the headache started. As the day progressed I had more injection site discomfort but nothing beyond the usual flu shot irritation. I woke up the second day with fatigue and a low grade fever and chills. Today is day three and the headache is still there but the rest of the symptoms have subsided. Out of the seven coworkers that received the vaccination on the same day, only two of us had symptoms.

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