Flu vaccine causes more adverse effects in women

The new study examined the results of 18 clinical trials involving 34,343 adults and found: Flu vaccine It does not cause the same side effects in women as in men, and in fact, the side effects are more common in women, especially those over 65. Specifically, women are 43% more likely to suffer from such conditions Arm discomfort – pain or swelling –and 27% more likely to experience systemic reactions, e.g. fever, muscle pain or headache.

Researchers led by Dr. Marilou Kiely of the University of Montreal found that women under 65 were also more likely to experience side effects after receiving the flu vaccine, including those who were eligible for the vaccine. Young women and pregnant women with health problems.

The results have been published in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health and revealed that women are at a higher risk of reacting to the flu vaccine than men, “regardless of age and vaccine type.” Transparent communication of this risk can increase vaccine confidence and reduce vaccine hesitancy. Future studies should report results stratified by sex and explore the role of sex in the occurrence of adverse events,” the researchers noted in their article.

Benefits of flu vaccine outweigh risks

The study results show that arm pain is the most common side effect after receiving the flu vaccine, and muscle aches and headaches are the most common systemic reactions. Although women are more likely to experience these systemic reactions, they are relatively minor because For every 1,000 people vaccinated, only 74 women will be affected.

“Most of the symptoms described associated with (flu) vaccination are mild.”

Women over 65 are 51% more likely than men to have more serious arm problems and be temporarily unable to perform daily tasks, and 48% more likely to have severe systemic reactions, such as muscle pain and fever, that affect you daily life.The difference is severe reaction Women and men over 65 had lower systemic immune system levels compared with younger people, suggesting that older women’s immune systems are less responsive to the flu vaccine.

However, as the authors explained in a statement collected by the Spanish SMC, “the data suggest that most reactions are mild, self-limiting and rarely serious,” so it is important to consider the potential benefits of influenza vaccination. People and patients with certain medical conditions, who are considered vulnerable, are particularly protected by vaccines against respiratory infections.

Estanislao NistarAlso speaking to SMC Spain, a virologist and professor of microbiology at CEU San Pablo University noted that “most symptoms associated with vaccination are mild.” The expert explained, “The study used ‘adverse reactions Risk’ is the term used to name the reactogenicity (reactions associated with vaccination) of a vaccine. “Reactogenicity is related to the activation of the patient’s immune system against the virus, which is usually mild and transient, so using the term risk of adverse reactions has the Implications that do not encompass the complexity of what is happening. ”

“Of the symptoms that were termed severe grade 3 symptoms in the study, such as ecchymosis, induration, swelling or erythema at the injection site, all were transient and reversible symptoms and can be attenuated by treatment. The number of patients in high-risk groups with severe symptoms is also very low. ”

He added, “In addition to analyzing the risk of any type of symptoms as stated in the article, correct information must accompany the fundamental value of any vaccine, which is risk/reward ratioThis is especially true for patients who are at risk for flu-related complications, which in this study were those over 65 years old. ”

“The data provided by this study on higher reactogenicity in women are interesting. This is nothing new, but it does affect the possibility of identifying parameters that will help ensure the reactogenicity of the vaccine in women Less intense, although the degree of immunization and reaction may accompany it and this may be necessary in men” or women is unknown. Do women get the best protection against the virus. “It would be convenient to clarify some statements and add some additional data to the study that could discuss the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in terms of the response it produces,” Nistal concluded. “

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