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Coronavirus: Vaccination

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 121679, tabled on 9 February 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 9 February 2022 to Question 92799, what the most serious side effects have been of (a) the Pfizer vaccine, (b) the Astra Zeneca vaccine and (c) the Moderna vaccine detected as a result of the analysis of Yellow Cards up to 15 December 2021; and what remedial action has been recommended to those patients affected.

Answered on

20 April 2022

As of 23 March 2022, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) received 2,075 reports of suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to COVID-19 vaccinations in which the patient died shortly after the vaccine had been administered. This is following over 140 million COVID-19 vaccinations administered in the United Kingdom. However, an ADR report associated with a fatal outcome does not mean that the vaccine caused the death. The MHRA assesses information received through the Yellow Card scheme to determine the likelihood of an association between the vaccine and any suspected ADR. This involves considering the overall pattern of reports and considering whether there are more events than would normally be expected in the general population. However, the MHRA does not assess whether an individual’s death was directly caused by a vaccine.

The product information leaflets for the COVID-19 vaccines provide a list of the side effects potentially associated with the vaccines, with warnings and precautions on particular events to ensure that vaccine administrators are aware of specific advice and information. Such events include anaphylaxis for all vaccines, myocarditis and pericarditis for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and thrombocytopenia syndrome and neurological events for the AstraZeneca vaccine. These warnings include a description of the evidence for these events being associated with the vaccines, which will include spontaneous ADR reports, such as Yellow Cards, the signs and symptoms to be aware of and advice relating to the identification and treatment of these events, where appropriate.

The MHRA keeps the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines under review and will update the information leaflets for the vaccines and communicate to patients and healthcare professionals should any new safety concerns be identified. The MHRA does not recommend remedial action to patients.

Named day
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