In Germany, but also internationally, the immunizations against the coronavirus with the vaccine from the companies Biontech and Pfizer have started. The vaccines from Moderna and Astrazeneca are now also approved in the EU. Among other things, the question of possible side effects arises. The European Medicines Agency EMA currently sees no difficulties.
The reported allergic reactions and side effects showed no statistical abnormalities and corresponded to the previously known safety profile, announced the EMA.
The authority had reportedly also checked deaths that had occurred after the vaccination. No connection to the vaccine was found. In almost all cases, the cause of death was frailty, the old age of those affected or advanced previous illnesses. Some of the deceased were already receiving palliative care at the time of vaccination.
Paul Ehrlich-Institut: Serious vaccination side effects are very rare
The federally owned Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) also considers serious vaccine side effects to be an exception. During the corona pandemic, the PEI is the central information collection point for vaccination side effects in Germany and publishes a report on this at regular intervals. By January 24th, the PEI had received 1,232 suspected cases with 3,404 side effects after vaccinations with the vaccine from Biontech / Pfizer or Moderna, of which 182 cases were classified as serious. This corresponds to 0.7 suspected cases per 1,000 vaccine doses or 0.1 suspected cases of serious side effects per 1,000 vaccine doses. According to the PEI, the values are consistent with the data from the clinical approval studies.
The reports also included 69 unexplained deaths. Experts from the Paul Ehrlich Institute consider a connection with immunization to be unlikely. If you vaccinate older people or people with severe pre-existing illnesses and an increased risk of death, then there will be a certain number of accidental deaths that occur shortly after the vaccination, but are not causally associated with the vaccination, the report said.
Accumulated reports of side effects with Astrazeneca vaccine
Even before Astrazeneca’s corona vaccine was approved, there were reservations for various reasons. Now vaccinated people report some significant side effects. In some regions in Sweden, vaccinations with the active ingredient of the Swedish-British group have therefore been stopped for the time being. Sometimes every fourth person vaccinated had reported problems.
After complaints from clinic employees about side effects, Astrazeneca vaccinations were stopped in two places in Lower Saxony. In a Braunschweig clinic, almost half of the vaccinated employees did not come to work temporarily because of “vaccine reactions”.
The other vaccinations would now be suspended – also in order not to endanger operations, said a spokeswoman. Employees at the Emden Clinic also reported sick after vaccinations. As a result, the district of Leer announced that it would no longer inject the agent. This has since been canceled.
The most frequent complaints were fatigue (53.1%) and headaches (52.6%), but fever is also possible (7.9%), reports the WDR, citing the Robert Koch Institute.
Paul Ehrlich Institute checks evidence of vaccine side effects
The drug safety unit is checking “whether the reported reactions go beyond what was observed in the clinical trials,” the Funke media group quoted a spokeswoman for the PEI. If this is actually the case, it will be checked whether there are any reasons for this.
What should you expect immediately after vaccination?
In the phase 3 clinical trials, numerous subjects experienced pain at the injection site. Many also complained of fatigue and headaches, chills or muscle aches. Eleven percent of the elderly and 16 percent of the younger also developed a fever.
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and the Paul Ehrlich Institute, this is one of the usual vaccine side effects. Such reactions show that the body processes the information about the pathogen against which the vaccination is supposed to work.
The immune system reacts exactly right: it produces antibodies that protect against a possible infection with Sars-CoV-2.
What should I do if I experience unusual side effects?
Anyone who has had a vaccination and suspects that other side effects may be related to the vaccination should report this to their family doctor. General practitioners and health authorities pass on information about unusual physical reactions to the Paul Ehrlich Institute.
The re they are systematically recorded and evaluated in a database. Here, the previous illnesses of the vaccinated person are analyzed to see whether there is a connection with the reactions after the vaccination.
What then happens to the information?
The Paul Ehrlich Institute forwards all information to the EMA. According to the EMA, if there is actually a statistically significant connection to vaccination for certain health problems, these side effects would be registered very quickly.
“SafeVacc” app developed
Particular attention is paid to the very rare side effects of vaccination, which occur in a maximum of one in 100,000 vaccinated people. One tool for registering adverse reactions is said to be an app called “SafeVacc” that the Paul Ehrlich Institute had developed in order to report side effects.
The Paul Ehrlich Institute wants to collect data with the help of this app. If you want to support the study and use the app, you have to answer questions about your own health, for example. In this way, data on the frequency, severity and duration of adverse reactions are collated.
The app not only collects data on complications, but also documents vaccinations that did not cause any problems and the vaccinated people tolerated the vaccine very well.
In addition, a network portal enables the federal government to report vaccination complications directly and online.
You can also find details about the progress of vaccinations in Germany in the Deutschlandfunk broadcast Marktplatz: “Corona vaccination practical: processes and follow-up” (audio link to listen to)
Further articles on the coronavirus
We have created a news blog. Given the large amount of information, this provides an overview of the most important current developments.
+ Current developments: Figures on the coronavirus in Germany (as of February 21)
+ Interjection from the editorial staff: How to deal with numbers in the corona pandemic (as of February 17)
+ Extended lockdown: what rules apply and what opening perspectives are there? (As of February 17th)
+ New rules: How the federal states implement the lockdown resolutions (as of February 17)
+ Border controls: what to watch out for (as of February 15)
Test and protection
The vaccination ordinance: who will be vaccinated first, who will be vaccinated later? (As of: 02/17)
+ Dates: how, when and where can I get vaccinated? (Status: February 12th)
+ Vaccinations: What is known about the side effects of the corona vaccine (as of February 16)
+ Astrazeneca vaccine: reports of side effects and acceptance problems – experts disagree (17.02.)
+ Protection: So it is about the development of vaccines against the coronavirus (as of February 15)
+ Change of strategy: are rapid tests the breakthrough in fighting pandemics? (As of February 16)
+ Sick people: New insights into the search for drugs (as of January 30)
Treatment: How does an antibody drug work and when is it useful? (As of January 25th)
+ Economy: How the world of work deals with the number of infections (as of February 16)
Contagion and Transmission
+ Virus variants: how dangerous are the new mutations of the coronavirus? (As of: 02/17)
+ Opponents of infection protection measures: What AfD and lateral thinkers have to do with the spread of the coronavirus in Germany (as of 02/09)
+ Transfer: What role do aerosols play (as of January 22)
+ Excess mortality: How deadly is the coronavirus really? (Status: 05.02.)
+ Travel warning:
The current list of risk areas (as of February 17th)
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