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Fainting After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

Fainting (syncope) is not that uncommon after getting a vaccine, so no one should be surprised by reports of people fainting after getting their COVID-19 vaccine.

Fainting after getting a vaccine? Yeah, there really is nothing to see here folks...
Fainting after getting a vaccine? Yeah, there really is nothing to see here folks…

It is certainly not a serious reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Fainting After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

But why would someone faint after getting their COVID-19 vaccine?

“I have a history of having an overactive vagal response and, so, with that, if I have pain from anything — hang nail or I stub my toe — I can just pass out.”

Anti-Vaccine Posts Use Deceptively Edited Video Clip

Although we usually hear about fainting after teens getting their vaccines, it is important to note that the “CDC has received reports of people fainting after nearly all vaccines.”

“Fainting after getting a vaccine is most commonly reported after three vaccines given to adolescents: HPV, MCV4, and Tdap. Because the ingredients of these three vaccines are different, yet fainting is seen with all of them, scientists think that fainting is due to the vaccination process and not to the vaccines themselves.”

CDC Fainting Concerns

And it has nothing to do with the vaccines themselves.

“Syncope is usually caused by a vasovagal reaction in which sympathetic nervous system stimulation brings a sudden onset of hypotension. Potential stimuli for a vasovagal reaction include invasive medical procedures such as venipuncture, as well as simply the sight of blood in some persons.”

Do Vaccines Cause Syncope?

Is it dangerous if you faint after being vaccinated?

“Fainting, also called syncope, is a temporary loss of consciousness caused by a decreased blood flow to the brain. Although fainting has a variety of possible causes, it is usually triggered by pain or anxiety. Sometimes people faint after vaccination. People who faint might fall and injure themselves if they are not sitting or lying down at the time that they lose consciousness.”

Fainting (Syncope) after Vaccination – Questions and Concerns

Only if you hit your head when you faint…

“Patients who faint after vaccination generally recover within a few minutes.”

Fainting (Syncope) after Vaccination – Questions and Concerns

Fortunately, most people quickly recover from these types of fainting episodes.

“Giving patients a beverage, a snack, or some reassurance about the procedure has been shown to prevent some fainting. Studies are being done to look more into these strategies. However, many falls due to fainting can be prevented by having the patient sit or lie down. For this reason, experts recommend having patients sit in a chair or lay down when they receive a vaccination. In addition, patients should be observed for 15 minutes after vaccination.”

Fainting (Syncope) after Vaccination – Questions and Concerns

And since COVID-19 vaccination guidelines already call for everyone to be observed for at least 15 minutes after vaccination, we hopefully won’t see any injuries if anyone faints after getting vaccinated and protected with their COVID-19 vaccine.

“If syncope develops, patients should be observed until the symptoms resolve.”

General Recommendations on Immunization – Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)

Can we expect that more people will faint after getting their COVID-19 vaccine?

The nurse who fainted quickly recovered - within minutes. She feels fine now despite the rumors on the Internet that she has died.
The nurse who fainted quickly recovered – within minutes. She feels fine now despite the rumors on the Internet that she has died.

Almost certainly, especially as hundreds of millions of people are going to get vaccinated in the coming months.

“Fainting is relatively common, but usually only affects older children and adults. Fainting does not require any management beyond giving the injection while patients are seated (to avoid injury caused by falling) and placing the patient in a recumbent position after the injection.”

MODULE 3 Adverse events following immunization

Is this a reason that anyone should avoid getting vaccinated and protected?

Certainly not!

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