Does ChAdOx1-S and BNT162b2 heterologous prime-boost vaccination trigger higher rates of vaccine-related adverse events?
Embargo Lift Date
Background: There has been significant international interest in heterologous prime-boost COVID-19 vaccination. However, it is linked with different intensity and frequency of adverse events. This study aimed to assess the safety of ChAdOx1-S and BNT162b2 vaccines when given as heterologous prime-boost vaccination in Saudi Arabia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted during the period October 2021 to March 2022. The study included two groups of people based on the type of vaccination regimen. The first group (heterologous) was subjected to different prime-boost vaccination schedules irrespective of the prime and boost vaccine types. The second group included people vaccinated with the same type of COVID-19 vaccine (homologous).
Results: The overall sample included 334 participants. Those included in the heterologous group were at about 1.5 fold -increased risk for developing local and systemic adverse events compared to the homologous group. Fever, headache, and vomiting were significantly more frequent among the heterologous group compared to the homologous group (p-value<0.05). In both groups, more than half of the recorded adverse events were mild/moderate in severity.
Conclusion: Heterologous prime-post vaccination is associated with a slightly increased risk for the development of local and systemic adverse events compared to the homologous regimen. However, most of these adverse events are mild/moderate in nature and recede within two days with no serious adverse events documented.