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Reactogenicity Differences between COVID-19 Vaccines: A Prospective Observational Study in the United States and Canada


Participants in studies investigating COVID-19 vaccines commonly report reactogenicity events, and concerns about side effects may lead to reluctance to receive updated COVID-19 vaccinations. A real-world, post hoc analysis, observational 2019nCoV-406 study, was conducted to examine reactogenicity within the first 2 days after vaccination with either a protein-based vaccine (NVX-CoV2373) or an mRNA vaccine (BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273) in individuals who previously completed a primary series. Propensity score adjustments were conducted to address potential confounding. The analysis included 1130 participants who received a post-primary series dose of NVX-CoV2373 (n = 303) or an mRNA vaccine (n = 827) during the study period. Within the first 2 days after vaccination, solicited systemic reactogenicity events (adjusted) were reported in 60.5% of participants who received NVX-CoV2373 compared with 84.3% of participants who received an mRNA vaccine; moreover, 33.9% and 61.4%, respectively, reported [≥]3 systemic reactogenicity symptoms. The adjusted mean (95% CI) number of systemic symptoms was 1.8 (1.6-2.0) and 3.2 (3.0-3.4), respectively. Local reactogenicity events (adjusted) were reported in 73.4% and 91.7% of participants who received NVX-CoV2373 and mRNA vaccines, respectively; the adjusted mean (95% CI) number of local symptoms was 1.5 (1.33-1.61) and 2.4 (2.31-2.52), respectively. These results support the use of adjuvanted, protein-based NVX-CoV2373 as an immunization option with low reactogenicity.