Covid Vaccines in Portugal: Adverse Reaction Rates and Updates

A breakdown of adverse reactions to covid vaccines in Portugal and news of the new Johnson & Johnson shot.

In a precautionary move in line with many other countries, the Direção-Geral da Saúde is recommending that the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is only administered to those over 60. This comes in the wake of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announcing a link between the vaccine and very rare cases of blood clots.

This is despite the fact that of the 3,650 adverse reactions to Covid vaccines in Portugal, only 15% were related to the AstraZeneca vaccine, according to Sapo. While this could be in part attributed to a lower total number of AstraZeneca vaccines when compared with competitors in Portugal, even when weighted, it has a lower adverse reaction than Pfizer, Sapo writes.

There are three vaccines currently in use in Portugal: Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca/Oxford. The number of vaccines administered, total number of suspected adverse reactions reported, and relative rates are as follows:

Pfizer/BioNTech

  • 1.4 million doses administered
  • 2,941 cases of suspected adverse reactions (81.1% of total reported cases)
  • Adverse reaction rate of 0.21%

AstraZeneca/Oxford

  • 388,000 doses administered
  • 535 cases of suspected adverse reactions (14.8% of total reported cases)
  • Adverse reaction rate of 0.14%

Moderna

  • 128,000 doses administered
  • 149 cases of suspected adverse reactions (4% of total reported cases)
  • Adverse reaction rate of 0.12%

On a European level, the split is slightly different, with AstraZeneca accounting for 48.9%, Pfizer for 46.9%, and Moderna 4.2% of adverse reactions.

Johnson & Johnson/Janssen

A fourth vaccine will be joining the table this month, with the arrival of 800,000 Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines expected in Portugal by the end of April, according to state advisor Luis Marques Mendes. These are the first of the 4.5 million Janssen doses expected by the end of the year. Unlike with other Covid-19 vaccines, only one dose of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen is required.

Related: Portugal’s Vaccine Progress: The Good, the Bad, Etc.

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