5 side effects of CoronaVac, AstraZeneca bared
MANILA, Philippines — The National Adverse Events Following Immunization Committee (NAEFIC) on Tuesday presented data on the top five adverse events that have occurred following immunizations with the two vaccines currently used on frontline personnel.
Dr. Eileen Alikpala Cuajunco, board member of NAEFIC, explained that an AEFI is any “untoward medical occurrence which follows immunization.”
Cuajunco said that the top five AEFIs for the Sinovac’s CoronaVac and the AstraZeneca vaccines are the following:
Blood Pressure Increase
Vaccination site pain
Vaccination Site Pain
Myalgia (muscle pains)
As Cuajunco explains, individuals may experience some AEFIs that are unrelated to their vaccination.
NAEFIC board member said the side effects of vaccines can appear in minutes if they’re a stress-related reaction.
“If the patient has an allergy it can be within the next 30 minutes or an hour or even longer than that within six hours,” Cuajunco explained.
“So it varies,” she added.
According to the doctor, AEFIs are classified based on severity or cause.
Serious AEFIs are events that have a potentially fatal outcome, like being hospitalized or having birth defects.
However, minor AEFIs do not pose a threat to the health of patients.
Cuajunco said no serious AEFIs had been recorded in the country.
Meanwhile, WHO’s Suzanne Kerba has pointed out that most of the AEFIs recorded globally are not serious.
“A sore arm and a headache or worse to that effect is much more likely than anything more serious or severe,” said Kerba.
She cited the WHO’s report that more than 3 million people around the world have died of COVID-19.
“This puts things a bit into perspective, in terms of the risk of getting vaccinated or having an AEFI versus the risk of dying from COVID-19 itself,” said Kerba.
“The risk of vaccination is small, small compared to the risk of dying or getting severe illness from COVID,” she added.
The NAEFIC advised the public to continue following the COVID-19 recommendations or “APAT DAPAT.”
A – ir Circulation and Ventilation
P – hysical Distancing
A – lways use face masks and faceshields
T – hirty minutes interactions or less
Dr. Cuajunco reminded patients that are going to be vaccinated to continue taking hypertensives since the vaccines are known to increase their blood pressure.
She also said not to drink any coffee on the day of the vaccination, as recommended by the Philippine Heart Association.
This is because caffeine can affect a person’s blood pressure.
Cuajunco also advised against pre-medicating with an anti-allergy or paracetamol before getting vaccinated.
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