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Papers of the Week

2022 Mar




Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (BNT162b2) Side Effects: A Systematic Review.


Dighriri IM, Alhusayni KM, Mobarki AY, Aljerary IS, Alqurashi KA, Aljuaid FA, Alamri KA, Mutwalli AA, Maashi NA, Aljohani AM, Alqarni AM, Alfaqih AE, Moazam SM, Almutairi MN, Almutairi AN
Cureus. 2022 Mar; 14(3):e23526.
PMID: 35494952.


Vaccinations prevented severe clinical complications of COVID-19. It was considered a vital component of living endemically with COVID-19. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the first mRNA-based vaccination that enhances immunity. Resulting in various adverse effects that may emerge after vaccination. This systematic review was undertaken to assess the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine side effects by reviewing the previous studies. A total of 107 PubMed and Google Scholar publications were screened for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine side effects. Fourteen articles met the study inclusion criteria. The included searching terms were a combination of "Pfizer vaccine and Side effects," "BioNTech vaccine and side effects," and "BNT162b2 vaccine and side effects," as well as all synonyms. The total number of participants in the 14 studies was 10,632 participants. Average of the most frequent side effects of 14 studies were injection site pain 77.34%, fatigue 43%, muscle pain 39.67%, local swelling 33.57%, headache 33.27%, joint pain 25.75%, chills 18.34%, fever 18%, itching 9.38%, lymph nodes swelling 7.86%, nausea 7.58%, dyspnea 7.86%,and diarrhea 6.36%. The average side effects after the first dose were 79% compared with 84% after the second dose. The average occurs side effects in females at 69.8% compared with males 30.2%. Our study reveals that side effects after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are common, but they are usually mild and self-limited. Local reactions like pain at the injection site are the most common. Anaphylactic shock or severe reactions are rare. We hope that our results will reassure the public that the benefits of vaccination far exceed the dangers. Also, help reduce vaccine hesitancy among individuals worried about vaccine safety and possible adverse effects.