The vaccination campaign for Covid-19 began around two months ago and, to date, a total of 87 suspected adverse reactions have been registered in the National Pharmacovigilance System, 20 of which were classified as serious, according to data provided to the Renaissance by Infarmed.
More than one million people over 60 years of age received the Comirnaty vaccine – from Pfizer/BioNTech – adapted to the new variants, with no cases of myocarditis or thrombophlebitis reported.
The National Medicines Authority emphasizes that suspected adverse reactions cannot be attributed to a vaccine just because they were reported spontaneously. In fact, in the vast majority of cases where there is data on the patient’s clinical history and medication, serious situations can be explained by the patient’s clinical condition and other treatments he or she was undergoing.
Still according to Infarmed, the notifications made so far are as expected.
The European Center for Disease Control and Prevention continues to monitor the secondary, or adverse, effects of vaccination and concludes that so far the most common are mild – such as fever and pain at the application site – and disappear in a short time.
Vaccine is safe
For Filipe Froes, a pulmonologist who was part of the Vaccination Technical Committee, the numbers prove the safety of the vaccine, considering that the decision to increase the accessibility of the vaccine was a winning bet.
“We are vaccinating 250,000 people per week in Portugal against Covid-19 and 300,000 against the flu. Apart from these minimal reactions, vaccines have been administered in pharmacies with virtually no reactions. This shows that the decision to increase the accessibility of vaccines, in pharmacies, was a winning bet”, he points out.
According to the expert, there is not always a causal relationship between the vaccine and the adverse effect.
Registration and severity classification can be done by a healthcare professional or by the user themselves.
“Often the fact that the person reports it does not mean that there is a causal relationship, there may be a circumstantial relationship: the person had a headache that day, gets the vaccine and associates the vaccine with the headache, for example and It doesn’t necessarily have any cause-and-effect relationship, but it is registered as such”, he explains.
In these statements to Renaissancethe pulmonologist points out that the record serves to “show a very large set of reactions, it serves to try to understand if there is any relationship beyond what is expected”.
“And what these vaccines show is that the reactions are still smaller than what a million people will report on a normal day”, he adds.
Data that – according to the expert – confirms the safety of the vaccine, arguing that what should be compared are the adverse effects of the vaccine with the effects of having Covid-19.
“These data attest and reconfirm the safety of the vaccines. If people are worried about the adverse effects, they have to worry about the adverse effects, in quotes, of the infection. Because it is common for people to compare the adverse effects of the vaccine with the effects of not being vaccinated when the correct thing is to compare some adverse effects that may occur with the vaccine with the potentially serious consequences of Covid-19 infection”, he adds.