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Watchdog receives more than 20,000 reports of side effects from Covid vaccine

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Over eight million vaccine doses have been administered up to early May. Photo: Danny Lawson

Over eight million vaccine doses have been administered up to early May. Photo: Danny Lawson

Over eight million vaccine doses have been administered up to early May. Photo: Danny Lawson

The Irish medicines’ watchdog has received 20,182 reports of suspected side effects of Covid-19 vaccines here since they started to be rolled out in late 2020, a new report revealed yesterday.

The report from the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) said more than eight million doses have been administered up to early May.

It is now to stop producing monthly reports detailing the reported suspected side effects.

It said that while not experienced by everyone, all vaccines have some side effects, the vast majority of which are mild to moderate in nature.

“These side effects need to be continuously balanced against the benefits of vaccines, given the risk of Covid-19 illness and related complications. Scientific evidence shows that they reduce deaths and hospitalisations due to Covid-19,” the report said.

“Overall, the national reporting experience continues to support the favourable assessment that the benefits of Covid-19 vaccines outweigh the risks.”

It said 10pc or more of reports relating to Pfizer and Moderna vaccines involved fever, pain, tiredness, headache and nausea.

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Less reported side effects included blurred vision, swelling – including of legs, arms, face – underarm pain, cough, shortness of breath, and menstrual disturbances.

As of May 10, the HPRA received 445 reports of suspected side effects following vaccination of children and adolescents.

Of these 114 related to a child, with the remainder relating to an adolescent.

As of that date, 875,000 doses had been administered to children and adolescents aged five to 17 as part of the national vaccination programme.

Overall, the side effects reported are consistent with those  reported by adults, with most being mild to moderate.


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