Safety and Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccines: Results from a Cross-Sectional Survey among Staff, Workers and Students at an Egyptian University

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Mass vaccination is the most effective strategy against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, concerns about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness remain a huge obstacle to vaccine acceptance. The aim of the present study was to explore different COVID-19 vaccine outcomes, including the development of adverse events and/or COVID-19 infection following COVID-19 vaccination. A cross-sectional study was conducted by distributing an online survey targeting staff and students at the British university in Egypt. A total of 637 participants fully completed the survey. Of these, 609 (95.6%) participants received the COVID-19 vaccine. Only 12.6% of the total vaccinated participants reported COVID-19 infection after vaccination. Of these, only 2.8% reported having severe symptoms while 9.9% reported having no or mild symptoms. The most common side effects reported after the first vs. second dose were headache (36.3% vs. 14.6%), tiredness and fatigue (26.9% vs. 10.7), and fever (25.6% vs. 6.7%). In conclusion, the present study explored different COVID-19 vaccine outcomes where the overall incidence of side effects is higher after the first dose than after the second dose. There is a relationship between COVID-19 vaccines’ side effects and gastrointestinal disorders, gender, and the type of COVID-19 vaccine. Post-vaccination symptoms were more frequently reported in women compared to men and more frequent with viral vector vaccines compared to other types. The effectiveness of different types of COVID-19 vaccines was confirmed by the lower incidence rate of post-vaccination COVID-19 infection.