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Regional study helps us understand the short term side effects of the Pfizer/BioNTec COVID vaccine in Healthcare workers

Researchers at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Sunderland have found that fatigue, myalgia, headaches and pain were experienced by 25-30% healthcare workers receiving the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTec COVID vaccine.  Participants were more likely to suffer side effects if they had previously had COVID-19 infection. 

The results of this study of just under 1,000 healthcare workers, which is part of the CHOIS study conducted in the three Durham Tees Valley Research Alliance Trusts has been published in the Journal of Infection. The publication is available here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0163445321002772?dgcid=coauthor 

The vaccine adverse events study was a short survey around healthcare workers' experience of the COVID-19 vaccine. The survey was designed to ask participants questions specifically about any side effects that they may have encountered following their first, and where applicable, their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

To take part in the study, participants had to have had a first or second dose of one of three approved COVID-19 vaccines; Pfizer, Oxford/AstraZeneca or Moderna. 

Dr. David Chadwick, Infectious Diseases specialist and Principle Investigator of the CHOIS study said: “These results provide useful insights into which side effects people are more likely to suffer if they have had COVID-19 previously, and support several other recent studies which show similar findings.”

Professor Caroline Wroe, Clinical Director at NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria and a co-author of the study said: “Vaccines remain the best line of defence against COVID-19 and I would like to thank the staff who took part in the research study, South Tees Hospitals vaccination hub and the support of the NIHR CRN NENC staff which enabled data for the study to be collected in just six weeks.”