The Sinopharm COVID-19 Vaccine is the first Chinese COVID-19 vaccine. This vaccine is authorized by World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use. This article discusses some of the common side effects of Sinopharm Vaccine, which are found in clinical trials.

Sinopharm and the Beijing Bio-institute of Biological products (BBIBP) chose to use a well-established technology to develop their COVID-19 vaccine. The two-dose vaccine incorporates an inactivated virus to stimulate the immune response.

The Sinopharm vaccine contains SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 is treated with a chemical known as beta-propiolactone. This chemical binds to the genetic material of the virus and prevents it from replicating and causing COVID-19.

This vaccine also contains an adjuvant, this adjuvant helps to strengthen the body’s immune response to the vaccine.

When a person receives a vaccine, their body’s immune system identifies a dysfunctional virus and makes antibodies against it. If a vaccinated person later comes in contact with SARS-CoV-2, their immune system triggers an immune response. 

The WHO recommends the Sinopharm vaccine for people 18 years of age or older, with an interval of 3-4 weeks between two doses. The world health organization estimates that the overall effectiveness of the vaccine is about 78%.

Common Side Effects of Sinopharm Vaccine

The most commonly reported side effects were fever and pain at the injection site.

The World Health Organization reviewed data from three clinical trials. These clinical trials included data from 16,671 participants who received the Sinopharm vaccine. Most of this data related to men aged from 18 to 59.

Based on this data, the most common side effects were:

  • Injection site reactions
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches

Serious Side Effects of Sinopharm Vaccine

The WHO identified two serious adverse events that may have been related to the vaccine.

These two serious adverse events are nausea and a rare neurological disorder known as acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. There was also a diagnosis of blood clots in the vaccine group.

The World Health Organization also considered post-permit data in the form of safety data collected during vaccine launches in China. Of the 5.9 million people vaccinated in China as of December 30, 2020, and 1,453 reported negative events.

The side effects included local reactions to redness and swelling at the site of vaccination. There were also 202 cases of fever of which 86 were classified as severe. Although 11 cases of facial neurological symptoms were reported. The reviewers included that they had nothing to do with the vaccine.

Adult safety in the order

Safety data from the doses of 1.1 million Sinopharm vaccines received by adults aged 65 and over in China are among the most common side effects, such as dizziness, fever, vomiting, and allergic dermatitis. This age group no serious adverse events were reported. However, the World Health Organization highlights differences in the evidence base of BBIBP-CorV for older adults.