Study shows Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine could lead to more side effects than Pfizer/BioNTech’s

In this photo illustration vials containing Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna and AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccines that are currently available in Slovenia. (Photo Illustration by Luka Dakskobler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

New research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that people who receive Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine might experience more side effects than those who get Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine.

The agency’s findings come from a study published in the online journal JAMA.

Researchers gathered data from December 2020 to February 2021 from CDC’s V-Safe surveillance system, which monitors and reports adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines through self-reporting surveys.

The data revealed that 75% of Moderna recipients reported side effects after getting one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine compared to 65% of the Pfizer/BioNTech recipients. Side effects included pain at the injection site, fatigue and headaches.

RELATED: Georgia site stops Johnson & Johnson vaccinations after adverse reactions

Researchers noted that the study participants represented less than 10% of the total number of people who received their first vaccine at the time of the study.

CDC officials have said that mild side effects are expected with getting the COVID-19 vaccine and that the side effects are a normal sign that your body is building protection.

In addition to a sore arm, people can experience a fever and some flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, aches, chills or headache. They last about a day, according to CDC officials. The reactions are a sign that the immune system is revving up. 

The vaccines are routinely monitored for their safety.

RELATED: Vaccination site closes after adverse reactions to Johnson & Johnson vaccine: report

Concerns began to mount this week about side effects from the Johnson & Johonson vaccine, which was not included in the study.

Georgia health officials temporarily stopped vaccinations of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at one site in north Georgia after eight people experienced "adverse reactions" on Wednesday. At least three other states — North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado — have reported adverse reactions of people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at some locations. One of the eight people at the vaccination site in Cumming, Georgia, was evaluated at a hospital and released, the Georgia Department of Public Health said Friday. The others were monitored and sent home.

There’s no reason to believe there is anything wrong with the vaccine, and people who have received it should not be concerned, said Dr. Kathleen Toomey, Georgia’s health commissioner.

According to the CDC, more than 68 million Americans are fully vaccinated, representing 20.5% of the total U.S. population.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.