Many Immediate Reactions to COVID Vaccine Are Anxiety-Related, CDC Says

Maria Pasquini
·3 min read

getty

Although there are side effects involved with COVID-19 vaccines, some occurring immediately after vaccination can be anxiety-related.

A study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday outlined 64 reports of symptoms that took place at vaccination clinics in five states among people who had received the Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine. Four out of the five sites temporarily closed out of caution.

The symptoms occurred between April 7-9, before there were reports about a small risk of blood clotting, according to the CDC. (On April 13, the CDC and FDA called for a pause on the single-dose vaccine "out of an abundance of caution" after six women developed a rare blood clot disorder. However, the vaccine was approved for use again by the end of last month.)

The sites reported 64 anxiety-related events, most of which resolved "within 15 minutes with supportive care." The most common symptoms were light-headeadness or dizziness, occurring in over 50% of reports, followed by excessive sweating, fainting, nausea, vomiting and hypotension.

One-fifth of people who suffered from anxiety-related symptoms post-vaccination had already "informed staff members of a history of fainting associated with receiving injections or needle aversion."

The CDC went on to note that as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is administered in a single dose, so it may "be a more attractive option for persons who have needle aversion."

"Therefore, it is possible that some persons seeking [the Johnson & Johnson vaccine] could be more highly predisposed to anxiety-related events after being vaccinated," the CDC wrote.

Among the cases, 61% occurred in women, with the median age being 36.

RELATED: TSA Extends Mask Mandate for Airports, Planes, Trains and Buses Through September

While investigating the cases, the CDC also compared the occurrence of anxiety-related events associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with those reported among recipients of the flu shot — which is also a single-shot vaccine that's available to all U.S. adults.

The CDC found that reports of fainting were about 164 times more common after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

RELATED VIDEO: Fully Vaccinated Americans Can Go Outdoors Without Masks, CDC Says in New Guidance

Want to get the biggest stories from PEOPLE every weekday? Subscribe to our new podcast, PEOPLE Every Day, to get the essential celebrity, entertainment and human interest news stories Monday through Friday.

The stress of the pandemic as well as media coverage could also play a role in creating anxiety-induced symptoms.

"Vaccine providers should be aware of anxiety-related events after vaccination and observe all COVID-19 vaccine recipients for any adverse reactions for at least 15 minutes after vaccine administration," the CDC wrote.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.