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Vaccine side-effects may mask infection symptoms - warning

Wednesday December 8th 2021

People who get COVID symptoms after vaccination should not assume it is side-effects, according to a new analysis.

Many of the side-effects are the same as symptoms of infection with the COVID virus – and in a significant number of cases that will be because of the presence of infection, according to a new study.

A major study conducted by King’s College, London, found that more than 1% of those who reported symptoms after vaccination were found to be infected.

The data came from an analysis of 14,842 people who took a test after reporting symptoms shortly after vaccination.

Reporting in eClinical Medicine, the researchers say they went on to use machine learning and found that it was impossible to distinguish side-effects from symptoms of infection – when patients reported symptoms such as fever, fatigue or aches and pains.

Researcher Professor Emma Duncan said: “Vaccination remains extremely important, to help protect yourself, your family, and your community from COVID-19. However, if you do have symptoms afterwards, you should not assume that it’s just side-effects of the vaccination - although fortunately this was the most likely outcome.

“You should check to make sure you don’t have early COVID-19, by getting tested. This is particularly important now, when the UK is experiencing high levels of SARS-CoV-2 infection circulating in the community and particularly while we are still learning about the new variant, Omicron.”

Fellow researcher Dr Liane Canas said: “To identify differences in symptom types between early signs of COVID-19 and post-vaccination symptoms, we used traditional machine learning models, which considered all 28 symptoms reported in the app, and a clinical model using the three core symptoms used for testing referencing by the NHS at the time of our study.

“Both the machine learning models (using all symptoms) and the clinical model (three symptoms) found it difficult to differentiate between symptoms associated with a positive test result and vaccine side effects. This is why anyone with symptoms should have a test.”

Disentangling post-vaccination symptoms from early COVID-19 eClinical Medicine 1 December 2021

[abstract]

Tags: Flu & Viruses | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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