Adverse Reactions to COVID Vaccine Worse Than Expected

  • By Bae Jun-yong, Choi Eun-kyung

    March 08, 2021 13:07

    Allergic reactions to AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine are more widespread than expected, frontline doctors say.

    Nearly 4,000 people had reported side effects after being vaccinated as of Monday morning, with 11 deaths.

    Most adverse reactions appeared two or three days after inoculation and involved high fevers of 38 to 39 degrees, muscle aches, chest pains, chills and nausea. Some people went to hospital emergency rooms for treatment. Most of side effects disappeared within two or three days.

    The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said Sunday that 314,656 people had so far been vaccinated, 86,232 of them frontline medical workers.

    Medical workers wait to get vaccinated at a hospital in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province on Monday. /Yonhap

    Most severe reactions are reported by people in their 20s to 40s rather than the elderly. One nurse at a hospital in Seoul said, "Thirty staff were vaccinated, and the two who were taken to the emergency room were in their 30s, while those in their 60s displayed less severe symptoms."

    This has led to concerns that the vaccine cannot be administered to people with other illnesses. But doctors said the severe reactions are probably due to the stronger immune systems of younger people, which are stimulated by the vaccine as intended.

    As of Monday morning 3,915 allergic reactions to the AstraZeneca vaccine had been reported here, accounting for around 1.2 percent of total inoculations. But doctors said 20 to 70 percent of medical staff in hospitals showed severe reactions.

    Prof. Yoo Jin-hong at Bucheon St. Mary's Hospital, said, "A closer look shows a higher number of side effects than has been officially announced. Authorities should not just look at the reported figures but conduct a thorough study to allay public jitters."

    Meanwhile, as the daily tally of new infections stood at 346 as of Monday morning.

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