covid-19 vaccine

Women Report Worse COVID-19 Vaccine Side-Effects Than Men

Health experts aren't entirely surprised

NBCUniversal, Inc.

As vaccinations across the state pick up the pace, doctors are learning more about vaccine side effects.

Women seem to be reporting more adverse reactions than men.

The Centers for Disease Control says in the first 13.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses given to Americans earlier this year, 79% of reported side effects came from women.

The most frequently reported symptoms were headache, dizziness and fatigue.

Experts say it could be because women are more willing to acknowledge their symptoms.

"Women are more likely to seek medical care and so there is this idea that maybe they're more likely to report symptoms. That is something that we have been hypothesizing in the medical community for quite a while," said UNT Health Science Center's Crystal Howell, PharmD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacotherapy with an emphasis on infectious disease.

Howell also points to biological factors as women and men metabolize vaccines and medications differently.

"The way that they metabolize, excrete, distribute vaccines, as well as medications, are slightly different for men so there are always going to be some difference. I wouldn't describe it as abnormal," said Howell.

If anything, she says, the reactions to the vaccine, generally are a good thing.

"Just be prepared and make sure you're aware of what the side effects are, understand that they’re limited to two to three days and it is ok to take something like Tylenol," said Howell.

According to the CDC, people should avoid taking painkillers like ibuprofen before getting a COVID-19 vaccine shot because it's not clear if these medications will interfere with the vaccine's effectiveness.

Contact Us