Prevalence of severe adverse events among health professionals after receiving the first dose of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 coronavirus vaccine (Covishield) in Togo, March 2021

Arch Public Health. 2021 Nov 24;79(1):207. doi: 10.1186/s13690-021-00741-x.


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines can cause adverse events that can lead to vaccine hesitancy. This study aims at estimating the prevalence of severe adverse events (SAEs) and their associated factors among health professionals vaccinated with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine in Togo.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from March 13th to 19th, 2021 in Togo among health professionals who received the first dose of the vaccine. An online self-administered questionnaire was used to collect sociodemographic and vaccination data. SAEs were defined as one resulting in hospitalization, medical consultation, or inability to work the day following the administration of the vaccine. Data analysis were performed using R© 4.0.1 software, and a 5% significance level was considered.

Results: A total of 1,639 health professionals (70.2% male) with a median age of 32 (interquartile range: 27-40) were enrolled. At least one adverse event was reported among 71.6% of participants (95% CI = [69.3-73.8]). The most commonly reported adverse events were injection site pain (91.0%), asthenia (74.3%), headache (68.7%), soreness (55.0%), and fever (47.5%). An increased libido was also reported in 3.0% of participants. Of the participants who experienced adverse events, 18.2% were unable to go to work the day after vaccination, 10.5% consulted a medical doctor, and 1.0% were hospitalized. The SAEs' prevalence was 23.8% (95% CI = [21.8-25.9]). Being <30 years (AOR = 5.54; p<0.001), or 30-49 years (AOR = 3.62; p<0.001) and being female (AOR = 1.97; p<0.001) were associated with SAEs.

Conclusions: High prevalence of SAEs have been observed in health professionals in Togo after ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccination especially in young people and females. However, these data are reassuring as they inform on COVID-19 vaccines' SAE management. Systematic prescription of antalgics or antipyretics could be proposed to young people who get vaccinated.

Keywords: Adverse event; COVID-19; ChAdOx1 nCoV-19; Health professionals; Togo; Vaccine.