- The Washington Times - Friday, February 19, 2021

Americans reported nearly 7,000 reactions such as headaches and dizziness during the first month of COVID-19 vaccinations, according to a new analysis of safety monitoring data. 

Of the nearly 13.8 million vaccinations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received 6,354 reports of non-serious reactions and 640 serious ones, a national report released Friday found. The symptoms most frequently reported to the vaccine safety monitoring system were headaches at 22%, fatigue at nearly 17% and dizziness at almost 17%.

A total of 113 deaths were reported, including 78 among residents in long-term care facilities. Death certificates and autopsy reports did not point to the vaccinations as cause of death, the CDC report says.

There were 35 reports of death among those not living in long-term care facilities. Residents of congregate living accounted for two-thirds of the reported deaths. Forty-two residents died while in hospice care or in a do-not-resuscitate status.

Causes of death, according to death certificate data of 17 recipients, included cardiac disease, dementia, pneumonia and failure to thrive, the CDC report says. The health agency is waiting for records of 19 others to determine cause of death. The median age of vaccine recipients in congregate living facilities was 83 years.

Hardly any of the 6,994 people reporting reactions lived in long-term care facilities, with 98% residing outside of those settings, About 81% of these recipients received the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, while 19% received the Moderna vaccine. More adverse reactions were reported after the second dose among individuals given the Pfizer vaccine.

The CDC analysis also shows that cases of anaphylaxis after vaccination were rare, with only 4.5 incidents reported per million doses given.

The median age of vaccine recipients in the safety monitoring system was 42 years. The bulk of reports of adverse reactions — 5,505 of 6,354, or more than 85% — were submitted by women. However, more women than men received COVID-19 shots between Dec. 14 to Jan. 13, making up 61% of vaccine recipients. 

• Shen Wu Tan can be reached at stan@washingtontimes.com.

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