Covid-19 Vaccine safety and adverse event analysis from Pakistan

Syed Shahzad Hasan, Abdur Rashid, Sundus Osama, Zia Ul Mustafa, Hamid Merchant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Covid immunization commenced on 2nd Feb 2021 in Pakistan and as of 7th Sep 2021, over 84 million vaccine doses were administered in Pakistan, of which 72% procured by the government, 22% received through Covax and 6% were donated. The vaccines rolled out nationally included: Sinopharm, Sinovac and CanSinoBIO (China), AstraZeneca (UK), Moderna and Pfizer (USA), Sputnik (Russia), and PakVac (China/Pakistan). About half of the eligible population in Pakistan (63 m) had received at least one dose of Covid vaccine as of Sep 2021. Pakistan National Pharmacovigilance Centre (PNPC) in coordination with WHO, MHRA and Uppsala Monitoring Centre (UMC) established pharmacovigilance centers across Pakistan. The Covid vaccine AEFIs in Pakistan were mainly reported via NIMS (National Immunization Management System), COVIM (Covid-19 Vaccine Inventory Management System), 1166 freephone helpline and MedSafety. There have been 39,291 ADRs reported as of 30th Sept 2021, where most reported after the first dose (n = 27,108) and within 24–72 h of immunization (n = 27,591). Fever or shivering accounted for most AEFI (35%) followed by injection-site pain or redness (28%), headache (26%), nausea/vomiting (4%), and diarrhoea (3%). 24 serious AEFIs were also reported and investigated in detail by the National AEFI review committee. The rate of AEFIs reports ranged from 0.27 to 0.79 per 1000 for various Covid vaccines in Pakistan that was significantly lower than the rates in UK (∼4 per 1000), primarily attributed to underreporting of cases in Pakistan. Finally, Covid vaccines were well tolerated and no significant cause for concern was flagged up in Pakistan's Covid vaccine surveillance system concluding overall benefits outweighed risks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Immunology Communications
Early online date22 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


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