Rate of suspected adverse reactions linked to mRNA jabs is 0.13%: HSA

The rate of suspected adverse events linked to the Covid-19 vaccines under the national vaccination programme is 0.13 per cent, said the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) yesterday.

The rate of serious adverse events, such as anaphylaxis, is much lower, at 0.006 per cent.

For the national programme, 8,716,085 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines had been administered as at Aug 31, with 11,737 suspected adverse reactions reported.

Of these, 498 reports were classified as serious adverse events.

The report - the fifth safety update for the vaccines under the national scheme - included a second update on the Sinovac-CoronaVac jabs under the special access route.

There were 90 reports of suspected adverse reactions to the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine, including five serious ones, as at Aug 31.

With 168,439 doses administered in the same period, this amounts to a rate of 0.053 per cent for suspected cases, and 0.003 per cent for serious ones.

These serious events were: one report each of Bell's palsy, serious allergic reaction and vertigo with ringing of the ears, and two reports of anaphylaxis.

The HSA said: "The type and number of reports received for the different Covid-19 vaccines are not directly comparable as the vaccines may have been used in the vaccination programme for different lengths of time, and may have been administered to different numbers of people, with different underlying medical conditions and across different settings."

For the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the most commonly reported symptoms were consistent with those typically observed following vaccination, such as dizziness, shortness of breath, injection site pain and allergic reactions, and typically resolve in a few days.

Among the serious cases, the most frequently reported were anaphylaxis and other severe allergic reactions.

The data to date shows that benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines continue to outweigh the known risks in a pandemic, said the HSA. - THE STRAITS TIMES