Evaluation of Side Effects Associated with COVID-19 Vaccines in Saudi Arabia

Vaccines (Basel). 2021 Jun 18;9(6):674. doi: 10.3390/vaccines9060674.


Background: Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca are recently introduced vaccines to combat COVID-19 pandemic. During clinical trials, mild to moderate side effects have been associated with these vaccines. Thus, we aimed to evaluate short-term post-vaccination side effects.

Methods: Cross-sectional, retrospective study using an online questionnaire was conducted among COVID-19 vaccines recipients in Saudi Arabia. General and demographic data were collected, and vaccine-associated side effects after receiving at least one dose of each vaccine were evaluated.

Results: Our final sample consisted of 515 participants with a median age of 26 years. Most of the study participants were female (57%). Nearly 13% of the study subjects have reported previous infections with SARS-CoV-2. Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines have been received by 75% and 25% of the study participants, respectively. Side effects associated with COVID-19 vaccines have been reported by 60% of the study subjects, and most of them reported fatigue (90%), pain at the site of the injections (85%).

Conclusion: Side effects that are reported post Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines among our study participants are not different from those that were reported in the clinical trials, indicating safe profiles for both vaccines. Further studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of the current vaccines in protection against SARS-CoV-2 reinfections.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; side effects; vaccine.