Recently it has been found that women are reporting a lot more side effects from their Covid-19 vaccine as compared to men. Experts are studying this trend to unearth the reasons behind it. But most of these side effects are minor compared to the over-arching benefit of being vaccinated against Covid-19.
Are The Covid-19 Vaccines Causing More Side Effects In Women Than In Men?
77% of all reported side effects of the Moderna vaccine came from women. The CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) identified 7000 cases of side effects between mid-Dec 2020 and mid-Jan 2021. 79% of these reports came from women.
What are the side effects being experienced by women?
- Women are mostly reporting headaches and fatigue
- Some women are also complaining of dizziness for a few days
- Another uncommon side effect that is prominent mostly in women is a red rash around the vaccinated spot.
But why are women more prone to side effects than men?
Minor side effects are sometimes a sign that the vaccine is working properly. But experts do agree that there is a significant difference in the number of side effects being reported by men and women. Many different explanations have been suggested for this
- Different immune response- according to doctors there are important differences between men and women with regards to their immune reaction to vaccines. Women produce almost double the number of antibodies against infections due to vaccination. Women biologically have more T helper cells in their bodies that encourage the production of antibodies.
The immune response of women specifically to the Covid-19 vaccine has not been studied in detail yet. But in 2019 a study found that women who were inoculated against common flu produced more antibodies than men who were administered the same vaccine.
Doctors believe that this more intense immune response in women triggers side effects of vaccines more frequently among them.
- Hormonal differences- some cells involved in the body’s immune system contain estrogen. As women produce more estrogen compared to men, this hormone might also be responsible for women to experience a different reaction to vaccines than men.
- Under-reporting among men- some researchers think that it is not just a case of women experiencing more side effects. They believe that the disparity between men and women is because men usually under-report their symptoms. This tendency has been found in men in the case of other vaccines, medicines, and treatments as well.
- Biased clinical trials- some scientists claim that women conventionally report more side effects for vaccines because vaccines or even most medications are not tested for them. For a long time, all clinical trials were only based on reports from white men of certain age and weight. Now the situation is different and women were included in the Covid-19 vaccine trials.
But according to some medical professionals, the gender biases in medical trials continue. Vaccines and medication doses for young children are different according to their weight class. But there is no such distinction for adults. Women thus end up getting stronger doses of the vaccines or medicines than they might have needed and experience side effects.
But there is no need to fret! There is no concrete evidence to suggest that the Covid-19 vaccines are too strong for women. The effectiveness of the vaccine in women as well as in men has already been proven by extensive research.
Vaccine side effects being reported by women are mostly very minor. But in case of any side effects, be it small or big; in a man, woman, or child it is essential to consult a medical professional immediately. It will help the person suffering the side effects as well as provide valuable data to researchers.