Women, those under 40 more likely to have side effects to COVID vaccine, expert says

Women and people under 40 years old are more likely to experience side effects from COVID-19 vaccines, an expert told The Post on Friday.

Women and younger people have more local reactions — a sore arm, a day of not feeling so well, or aches and pains,” according to Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious diseases expert from Vanderbilt University.

Scientists are not certain why women react differently than men, Schaffner said.

“People wonder if it’s because women have more estrogen but that remains to be studied,” he said.

“The short answer is there’s got to be reasons for it but we don’t know what they are,” added Schaffner.

Those under 40 suffer more symptoms because younger people, in general, have a “more robust immune system,” than older folks, he said.

Side effects from COVID-19 vaccines range from nausea and flu-like symptoms to nothing at all — but your reaction says nothing about how you would have fared against the virus, experts said.

“I don’t think that there’s any relationship between your reaction to the vaccine and what would have happened to you had you gotten infected with the virus,” Schaffner said in an interview with the CBS affiliate WFMY.

But regardless of the severity of post-vaccination symptoms  — which this week included nausea and dizziness for 11 people at a shuttered Colorado Johnson & Johnson jab site — the shots are equally effective for everyone, experts said.

“People will say, ‘Well if I didn’t get a reaction, does that mean the vaccine didn’t work?’ and the answer is, no,” Dr. William Moss, a vaccines expert from Johns Hopkins University, told the outlet.

A nurse prepares a COVID-19 vaccine on a vaccination drive-thru, in Brasilia, Brazil, 10 March 2021.
A nurse prepares a COVID-19 vaccine on a vaccination drive-thru, in Brasilia, Brazil.
EPA/Joedson Alves

He added, “[There are] no implications for protective efficacy…No implications for how your body would respond if you got infected with the actual SARS-CoV-2.”

People in Los Angeles, California wait to get the COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. 17, 2021.
People in Los Angeles, California wait to get the COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. 17, 2021.
Dean Musgrove/The Orange County Register/SCNG via AP

On Wednesday, around a dozen people reportedly suffered adverse reactions to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, prompting officials to shutter the site.

People that received a COVID-19 vaccine socially distance as they wait the required fifteen minutes to monitor for adverse reactions after getting the shot in Dallas, Texas on Jan. 20, 2021.
People that received a COVID-19 vaccine socially distance as they wait the required fifteen minutes to monitor for adverse reactions after getting the shot in Dallas, Texas on Jan. 20, 2021.
AP Photo/LM Otero

The  Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment later stressed that the side effects experienced were “consistent with what can be expected” with the single-dose shot.

As of Friday, more than 112 million people had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the US

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