Researchers Warn That Women Are At Heighten Risk Of Flu Vaccine Reactions

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New research indicates that women, particularly those aged 18-64 and over 65, are more prone to adverse reactions from flu shots compared to men.

Women at higher risk of localized vaccine reactions          

The study found that women in these age groups were 29% and 43% more likely, respectively, to experience localized reactions at the vaccination site. Additionally, young females had a 25% higher probability of having systemic reactions, while the older group’s likelihood was 27%.

University of Montreal researchers have also revealed that women are exposed to twice the likelihood of experiencing severe reactions relative to men.

In an article published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, researchers stated that the majority of responses to influenza vaccinations are typically mild, of short duration, and seldom of a serious nature.

Nonetheless, the occurrence of an adverse event can potentially deter individuals from pursuing subsequent vaccinations, making it crucial to minimize the influence of safety apprehensions on the success of vaccination programs, particularly in the case of the annual influenza vaccine.

The research team conducted an assessment of both local reactions occurring at the injection site and systemic reactions affecting the entire body. Their evaluation encompassed symptoms such as discomfort, inflammation, elevated body temperature, cranial discomfort, and muscle discomfort. Furthermore, the team considered additional symptoms manifesting three to four weeks after vaccination, along with severe symptoms observed during the research timeframe spanning from 2010 to 2018.

Researchers focused on seasonal flu vaccines

In this study, the team scrutinized data derived from 18 distinct clinical trials pertaining to seasonal influenza vaccinations. These trials encompassed a cohort of 34,343 adult participants, and the team examined the differential impacts on individuals of various genders.

The study authors conclude that openly conveying this risk has the potential to enhance trust in vaccines and reduce vaccine hesitancy.

It has been highlighted by experts that the supporting evidence for injection site reactions is limited, while systemic reactions exhibit a moderate level of evidence. They propose that societal gender roles and characteristics could potentially impact the outcomes, with women possibly being more predisposed to reporting health concerns.

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