CDC determines some adverse COVID-19 vaccine reactions due to anxiety


(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new report that looked into reactions people experienced after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.  Some reactions, as the CDC found, were caused by anxiety and not the vaccine itself.

Some side effects such as fainting, nausea and dizziness were caused by a person’s mental state upon receiving the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine.   The study, conducted in April and before the J&J vaccine was paused, researched five mass vaccination sites where 8,624 people took the vaccine.

Of that number, 64 adverse reactions were caused by anxiety.  The CDC found that none of the anxiety-related reactions were serious, listing additional side effects caused by nerves, which were excessive sweating, vomiting, hypertension and light-headedness.

Of the 64 people who experienced such symptoms, 61 percent were women with a median age of 36.  In addition, 20 percent of that group told vaccination site staff that they had a history of fainting during injections.

The CDC noted that most of the anxiety-induced reactions resolved within 15 minutes after patients were cared for by receiving food, hydration or being asked to lie down.

The report states, “Increased awareness of anxiety-related events after vaccination will enable vaccination providers to make an informed decision about continuing vaccination” and that “anxiety-related events can occur after any vaccination.”

The number of individuals with anxiety-related side effects outnumber the six women who developed a rare blood clot disorder after receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.  That clot caused federal health agencies to put a pause on the J&J vaccine rollout.

Dr. Tara Sell, a senior associate at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says the vaccine pause and reports such as these should provide comfort to individuals who have yet to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, as it shows how closely the vaccines are being monitored for safety. 

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