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(NEXSTAR) – A recent study has shown that more people report side effects after receiving a dose of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine than the Pfizer vaccine.
The study, published Monday in the journal JAMA Insights, sheds light on the many mild side effects of both vaccines – including headaches, fever, chills and pain or swelling at the injection site.
Between December 14 and February 28, about 1
For the second dose, approx. 666,000 people side effects from the Pfizer vaccine compared to 777,000 with the Moderna vaccine.
The researchers collected data from the Centers for Disease Control’s V-safe monitoring system, which reports side effects for a number of vaccines, including the new COVID-19 vaccines.
For both doses of the vaccine, the response was highest on day 1 after vaccination and decreased steadily through day seven, the study shows.
The study also reports that people under the age of 65 reported more side effects for V-safe compared to those 65 and older – a common finding for vaccines.
Women and younger people generally experience more side effects from vaccines.
“However, this is not to say that they have more symptoms,” said Stanford University infectious disease physician Anne Liu, adding that it is possible that younger people and women just report their symptoms more frequently.
“I’m going to make a big generalization here, but our culture typically deters men from pointing out their symptoms,” Liu said.
As for why younger people experience more symptoms, it may be a result of them having stronger immune systems.
“Elderly people’s immune systems weaken over time,” Liu explained, meaning their response to the vaccine will be less intense.
“If you have no side effects, you may have a weaker response,” Liu said.
This does not mean that the vaccine does not work. The immune system is complex and diverse, and side effects are not the only sign that the vaccine is effective.
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