Everyone will suffer minor side effects from Covid-19 vaccination, Van Gucht says
Monday, 14 December 2020
All people will experience some minor side effects from being vaccinated against Covid-19 once the vaccine is on the market, health officials said during a press conference on Monday.
The clinical studies have shown that these are often mild side effects immediately after the vaccination took place, according to virologist and interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht.
“It is quite normal for the skin or the place of injection to feel a little hard and swollen, and to feel slightly flu-like for a few days after administering the vaccine,” he said.
A slight headache, some fatigue, or even a slight increase in body temperature, are all normal and to be expected, according to Van Gucht. “These are mild effects, which will pass,” he said. “And they usually mean that the vaccine does its job properly.”
However, for any medicine, including vaccines, unforeseen side effects that were not detected in the clinical study are possible.
“By definition, these are rare side effects, occurring less frequently than once in 10,000 people,” Van Gucht explained, as at least 10,000 participants were included in the trials, and have already received the vaccine.
“These side effects can be very rare, ranging from 1 in 100,000 vaccinated to 1 in a million,” he said. “They can also occur in groups that have not been included, or only in limited sizes, in clinical trials.”
A major safety control system has been set up for when a vaccine comes onto the market, not only in Belgium, but also in Europe and the United States.
“Thay way, the effects of the vaccine once it is administered on a large scale to the population can be monitored closely,” Van Gucht said.
Each vaccination will be registered in a central database, registering the data on the date of vaccination, the type of vaccine administered, but also the batch number of the vaccine.
“This will be combined with databases of other countries and,” he said. “Thanks to international cooperation and full transparency, rare or possibly unknown side effects can be uncovered and, if necessary, certain precautionary measures can also be taken.”