Regulator receives 81 reports of suspected Covid-19 vaccine side effects

Joint pain, nausea, fatigue and headache among reactions reported to Irish regulations

Some 81 reports of suspected side effects linked to the Covid-19 vaccine have been reported to Irish medical regulators.

All of the reports were consistent with those typically observed with other vaccines and included mild and moderate events such as abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, joint pain and pains in the arms, dizziness, headache, itching and a rash, according to Lorraine Nolan, chief executive of the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA).

While uncomfortable, she said the “relatively mild” effects passed quickly and generally did not require medical treatment.

From Thursday, the HPRA would publish regular updates on reports of suspected adverse reactions on its website, she said.


While the regulator has to date not received any reports of anaphylaxis associated with the use of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, it does anticipate it will as the numbers vaccinated increase, according to Dr Nolan.

A further eight deaths of Covid-19 patients were reported by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) yesterday, all of which occurred in January. This brings to 2,616 the total number of deaths in the pandemic.

Nphet also reported 2,121 new confirmed cases of the disease, bringing to 174,843 the total number of cases in the Republic. The median age of the newly reported deaths is 85 years and the age range is 49-93. Of the new cases, 753 are in Dublin, 236 in Cork, 142 in Wexford, 126 in Kildare, 109 in Limerick with the remaining spread across all other counties.

14-day incidence

The 14-day incidence of the disease now stands at 1,404.2 cases per 100,000 people nationally. Monaghan has the highest county incidence, followed by Louth. Yesterday afternoon, 1,975 Covid-19 patients were hospitalised, of which 200 were in ICU. There were 102 additional hospitalisations in the previous 24 hours.

HSE national clinical lead, acute hospitals, Dr Vida Hamilton, described the situation in hospitals as "very pressurised but functioning", with 312 Covid and non-Covid patients in ICU. So far this month, there have been 338 deaths of Covid-19 patients, compared with 171 in December and 163 in November.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan declined to comment on the Coombe hospital's use of leftover Covid-19 doses to vaccinate staff family members, but he said he hoped people in leadership positions in health would uphold the guidelines on prioritisation of people for access to the vsaccine. He said there was "very little prospect" at this stage of containing the spread of the Covid-19 variant first identified in the UK, which now accounts for close to half of cases that have been analysed.

He said there was no evidence of onward transmission of a South African variant after three cases were identified among people who had come from that country. Neither has any case so far been identified of a variant first identified in Brazil.

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen is Health Editor of The Irish Times