ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0033.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: vaccine side effects; inactivated COVID-19 vaccine; sinopharm vaccine; sinovac vaccine; whole attenuated vaccine; COVID-19 vaccination; vaccine hesitancy
Online: 2 September 2022 (05:12:45 CEST)
Vaccination is one of the most effective methods for preventing morbidity and mortality from COVID-19. Vaccine hesitancy has led to a decrease in vaccine uptake; driven by misinformation, fear, and perceptions of vaccine safety. Whole inactivated vaccines have been used in one-fifth of the vaccine recipients in Africa, however there is limited real-world data on their safety. We evaluated the reported side effects and factors associated with reported side effects following vaccination with whole inactivated COVID-19 vaccines - BBiBP-CorV (Sinopharm) and CoronaVac (Sinovac). A quantitative survey evaluating attitudes and side effects from vaccination was administered to 1016 adults presenting at vaccination centers. Two follow-up telephone interviews were conducted to determine side effects after the first and second vaccination dose. Overall, the vaccine was well tolerated; 26.0% and 14.4% reported side effects after the first and second dose respectively. The most frequent local and systemic side effects were pain at the injection site and headaches respectively. Most symptoms were mild, and no participants re-quired hospitalization. Participants who perceived COVID-19 vaccines as safe or had a personal COVID-19 experience were significantly less likely to report side effects. Our findings provide data on the safety and tolerability of whole inactivated COVID-19 vaccines in an African population, providing the necessary data to create effective strategies to increase vaccination and support vaccination campaigns.