HSA: All About The Adverse Reactions To The Three Vaccines Available Here So Far

Ah, remember when vaccines still didn’t exist a year ago?

We’ve now come so far in the vaccine regiment, with 82% of the Singapore population having gotten their full doses.

It’s no longer a surprise to hear that most people you know have been fully vaccinated despite the apprehension in its early stages.

While the vaccines seem to have proven helpful in minimising the effects of the virus, with most people perfectly fine after their shots, it’s not the case for everyone, unfortunately.

So here’s everything we know so far about the few adverse reactions to the vaccines:

90 Suspected Adverse Reactions To Sinovac So Far

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) revealed the details of the amount of reported and suspected adverse reactions to all three vaccines available here on 16 September.

Sinovac joined the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine in the ranks back in June through the HSA’s special access route.

The alternative vaccine was offered to those interested in taking a non-mRNA vaccine and individuals who suffered from allergic reactions to the other two vaccines.

As of 31 August, there have been 90 suspected cases of adverse reactions to the Sinovac vaccine, with 5 serious cases reported, the HSA said.

With over 168,400 doses having been administered here, it brings the adverse incidences to 0.05% of all administered doses.

The Incidents

One incidence of Bell’s Palsy, one of a serious allergic reaction, one of vertigo and ringing in the ears, and two cases of anaphylaxis were considered to be serious reports.

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that is rare but can be life-threatening, and Bell’s Palsy is where the facial nerve gets inflamed, resulting in one’s facial muscles becoming temporarily weak or paralysed.

The HSA added that serious adverse events also typically result in hospitalisation, significant reduction in functioning or a disability, life-threatening illnesses or death, subsequent birth defects or is just an important medical event.

Thus far, the adverse effects from taking the Sinovac vaccine were still consistent with other typical side effects from vaccines.

11,737 Adverse Reactions To Pfizer And Moderna So Far

On the other hand, there were 11,737 adverse reactions reported of the 8.7 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines administered here as of 31 August.

This means that there is a 0.13% incidence rate, with those commonly reported ones being consistent with typical vaccine side effects which were resolved in a few days.

Dizziness, shortness of breath, chest tightness, palpitations, injection site reactions such as pain and swelling, fever and allergic reactions such as rash, itch, hives and the swelling of eyelids, face and lips were among such effects.

498 of the reported cases were serious adverse effects, making up 0.006% of all doses.

72 of these cases were related to anaphylaxis, with all recovering after treatment, while another 49 cases were reported to have other severe effects.

They include pericarditis or myocarditis, exacerbation of underlying asthma condition, breathing difficulties, fast heart rate, changes in blood pressure, chest discomfort and pain.

In deciding whether these effects were brought about by the vaccination, the HSA said that they also consider background incidence rates and whether patients had underlying conditions.

Thankfully, most of those who developed severe reactions have already recovered or are currently recovering.

Other special adverse reactions, besides Bell’s Palsy and anaphylaxis, include Cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT), which involves blood clotting in the brain.

491 Adverse Reactions In Children

Children aged 12 and above were also given the green light to take the vaccine in June, with 491 adverse reactions having been reported since – 0.08% of all doses.

Some commonly reported effects include rashes, swelling, fever, dizziness, shortness of breath and fainting with temporary loss of consciousness, also known as syncope.

The HSA said that syncope is not that uncommon amongst adolescents, and reports of it following the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were common locally and overseas.

There have been 26 local reports of syncope within the age group so far.

“It is generally triggered by the vaccination process, such as anxiety about the injection and fear of pain, and not by the vaccines,” they added.

Simply lying down will help to resolve it, which will usually take only about five minutes.

All serious cases are being monitored by the HSA currently.

On a separate note, did you know that experts are recommending two weeks of no-intensive exercise instead of one? You can read more about that here.

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