The National Medicines Safety Agency notes the main adverse effects of anti-covid vaccines. It also discusses what to do if these symptoms occur.
Everything you need to know about the adverse effects of anti-covid vaccines. Sixteen months after the launch of the vaccination campaign in France, the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM) draws up an inventory of the main side effects observed.
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines: potentially dangerous rare effects
The most worrying effects are very rare according to the ANSM. These include facial paralysis or facial swellings, which occur in patients who have had cosmetic facial injections. But the ANSM also notes “inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) or inflammation of the mucous membrane located outside the heart (pericarditis) which can cause shortness of breath, palpitations or pain in the chest” which generally occurs “14 days after the injection”. In these cases, it is advisable to contact a health professional without delay.
The ANMS advises reacting just as immediately in the event of a skin reaction causing red spots or patches on the skin, an allergic reaction (hives, swelling of the face, anaphylactic shock, etc.), or extensive swelling of the limb vaccine . “These mild to severe effects are known but their frequency is still undetermined,” she says.
More common side effects
The most common effects are known and, for some, common to any vaccination. Unpleasant, they are not serious and disappear spontaneously in a few days. The most common are: pain at the injection site with possible reactions (redness, hives, swelling), fatigue, headache, chills, fever, joint and muscle pain, diarrhea, insomnia, excessive sweating, decreased appetite, feeling weak, lack of energy, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting and skin rash.
“If the effects do not pass spontaneously in a few days, contact a health professional (pharmacist or doctor), advises the ANMS. In case of fever and / or pain, we advise to favor the use of paracetamol at the lowest dose and for the shortest possible time.
The National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM) notes other rarer but potentially troublesome effects: pain in the extremities, swelling of the lymph nodes, malaise, dizziness, itching at the injection site, hypoesthesia ( decreased touch or sensation). In case of discomfort, it is also advisable to approach a health personnel.
Janssen: the main serious effects
If their frequency is currently undetermined, the ANSM notes some capillary leak syndromes (CFS) and inflammation of the spinal cord, for which it is advisable to go to the doctor quickly.
CFS is described as a “disease causing leakage of fluid from small blood vessels”. It is a “serious condition, causing rapid swelling of the arms and legs, sudden weight gain and feeling weak (low blood pressure)”.
Rarer but just as dangerous, other side effects have been noted. In particular, there are reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a serious inflammation of the nerves which can cause paralysis and difficulty breathing, or even immune thrombocytopenia, which induce very low blood platelet levels. There is also the possible formation of blood clots in unusual areas of the body such as the brain, intestine, liver or spleen. The majority of these cases occurred within the first 3 weeks after vaccination and mainly in women under 60 years of age.
AstraZeneca: the main serious effects
Main adverse effect specific to AstraZeneca, angioedema: “rapid swelling under the skin in areas such as the face, lips, mouth and throat can cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing”, details the ANSM. This pathology requires rapid medical care.
As with certain other anti-covid vaccines, the National Medicines Safety Agency also notes rare risks of capillary leak, inflammation of the spinal cord, Guillain-Barré syndrome, immune thrombocytopenia and formation of blood clots.
In the event of a side effect not listed, it is possible to report it online.