If I don’t I have side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine does that mean it’s less effective?


A: No, it’s working just fine!

➡️ New data show no correlation between severity of side effects and levels of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 after vaccination.

🔥 While vaccine side effects, also known as “reactogenicity” can be a comforting sign for some that the immune system is ramping up, NOT having side effects does not mean your immune system is being lazy.

We could infer this indirectly from the clinical trials—the vaccine was equally effective in those with or without side effects.

Now, scientists have directly compared the severity of symptoms with levels of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in 206 individuals several weeks after their 2nd dose.


➡️ There was NO correlation between severity of symptoms and levels of antibodies.

In the attached figure, each dot represents an individual’s measurement of several types of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies correlated with their symptom scores after their first and second vaccine doses (10 is the most severe).

You can see that there is range of antibody responses for people with BOTH low and high levels of side effects. People with no or low side effects still respond strongly to the vaccine.

❓What DID predict antibody levels?

Older age was associated with lower antibody levels, but no differences were seen by sex, body weight, or race/ethnicity.

❓What about symptom severity?

Younger age, female sex, and lower body weight were associated with higher symptom severity.

So if you had no side effects from your vaccine, consider yourself lucky and rest assured that your immune system still put in the work!

Those Nerdy Girls

Figure: Severity of symptoms after vaccination correlates with neither vaccine-induced anti-S pike IgG reactivity nor with titers of anti-Spike and anti-RBD IgG antibodies.

Read the full study here.

Previous DP post on variable side effects

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