‘Not bad at all’: young people faint more often after vaccination
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‘Not bad at all’: young people faint more often after vaccination

Vaccination of a young person. Credit: Belga

As the people whose turn it is to be vaccinated are getting younger, staff in vaccination centres across Belgium are noticing that young people tend to faint more often after getting their shot.

The Antwerp vaccination centre Spoor Oost is one of the centres where personnel noticed that fainting occurs more often now that an increasing number of young people are being vaccinated.

“Fainting is inherent to that age,” Jan Stroobants, emergency doctor and coordinator at the vaccination centre said on Flemish radio on Tuesday.

“It is known that 12 to 24-year-olds are more prone to fainting,” he added. “There is a drop in blood pressure that occurs, which is often triggered by emotions such as fear of needles or seeing medical things.”

“People who are tired or who have too little fluids in their body are more likely to faint,” Stroobants said, adding that a lot of young people have just come through a stressful and exhausting exam period and are therefore more susceptible.

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The vaccination centre for the Limburg municipalities of Hasselt, Lommel and Peer also noticed the rise in fainting people who were just vaccinated.

“With the older generations we hardly had any interventions from our first aid people, but with the younger generations they have extra work,” Maarten Mulkers of the Lommel and Peer centres, told local newspaper Het Belang van Limburg.

“You see young people turning pale in the waiting room shortly after their shot and then fainting,” he added.

In the centres of Tongeren and Bilzen, people in their twenties, as well as teenagers aged 16 and 17, are currently getting their shots, manager Luc Hendrix said he saw a lot of young people pass out. “We see it in both boys and girls, although we see the phenomenon a bit more often with the girls.”

Additionally, Stroobants underlined that fainting in itself is “not a bad sign at all,” and people quickly regain consciousness once they lie flat with their legs up and their brain gets sufficient blood supply again.

“The only danger is that people might hurt themselves when falling,” he said. “So, just a little tip: make sure you are well-rested when you come to the vaccination centre.”

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