Adverse events following first and second dose COVID-19 vaccination in England, October 2020 to September 2021: a national vaccine surveillance platform self-controlled case series study.
Tsang RS., Joy M., Byford R., Robertson C., Anand SN., Hinton W., Mayor N., Kar D., Williams J., Victor W., Akbari A., Bradley DT., Murphy S., O'Reilly D., Owen RK., Chuter A., Beggs J., Howsam G., Sheikh A., Hobbs FR., de Lusignan S.
BackgroundPost-authorisation vaccine safety surveillance is well established for reporting common adverse events of interest (AEIs) following influenza vaccines, but not for COVID-19 vaccines.AimTo estimate the incidence of AEIs presenting to primary care following COVID-19 vaccination in England, and report safety profile differences between vaccine brands.MethodsWe used a self-controlled case series design to estimate relative incidence (RI) of AEIs reported to the national sentinel network, the Oxford-Royal College of General Practitioners Clinical Informatics Digital Hub. We compared AEIs (overall and by clinical category) 7 days pre- and post-vaccination to background levels between 1 October 2020 and 12 September 2021.ResultsWithin 7,952,861 records, 781,200 individuals (9.82%) presented to general practice with 1,482,273 AEIs, 4.85% within 7 days post-vaccination. Overall, medically attended AEIs decreased post-vaccination against background levels. There was a 3-7% decrease in incidence within 7 days after both doses of Comirnaty (RI: 0.93; 95% CI: 0.91-0.94 and RI: 0.96; 95% CI: 0.94-0.98, respectively) and Vaxzevria (RI: 0.97; 95% CI: 0.95-0.98). A 20% increase was observed after one dose of Spikevax (RI: 1.20; 95% CI: 1.00-1.44). Fewer AEIs were reported as age increased. Types of AEIs, e.g. increased neurological and psychiatric conditions, varied between brands following two doses of Comirnaty (RI: 1.41; 95% CI: 1.28-1.56) and Vaxzevria (RI: 1.07; 95% CI: 0.97-1.78).ConclusionCOVID-19 vaccines are associated with a small decrease in medically attended AEI incidence. Sentinel networks could routinely report common AEI rates, contributing to reporting vaccine safety.