In a recent publication in Scientific Reports, authors sought to identify the impact of gender and age on vaccine-related adverse effects and their progression after the third dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in a cohort of 272 vaccinated adults from Japan.

The authors wrote, “In mRNA COVID-19 vaccination, side effects after the first and second dose have been well reported. However, studies about side effects after booster vaccine are sparse.”

Of the 272 vaccinated individuals in the study, 216 (79%) were female and 56 (21%) were male, and the average age at enrollment was 47 years. The results revealed that females and younger adults experienced a greater incidence of general fatigue, headache, joint pain, chills, and axillary pain compared with males and elderly adults, respectively, and these findings were consistent with previous studies. Additionally, in longitudinal analysis, among females and younger adults prolonged time to recovery from adverse effects (AEs) was discovered.

Additionally, between the third and second vaccination doses, 52% of subjects had a longer duration of AEs following the third vaccine compared with the second dose, and joint pain was the culprit symptom related to the prolonged duration of AEs. Following the second vaccine dose, 25% of subjects had a longer duration of AEs, asthma, and ear fullness, which worsened the underlying allergic condition, and COVID-19 arm symptoms were the culprit symptoms.

The authors also indicated that they precisely identified the noteworthy negative contribution of systemic symptoms, such as joint pain and headache after the third vaccine dose and aggravation of an underlying allergic condition and type IV allergic response after the second vaccine dose.

Based on their findings, the authors concluded that acknowledgment of the unique gender- and age-specific adverse symptoms, as well as specific AEs distinctive of third and second COVID-19 vaccine doses, will provide an opportunity to better comprehend the nature of gender- and age-associated immunologic variances and advance safer and more efficacious vaccines.

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