Consultant Family Physician and Head of Department, Family Medicine Department at the University of Ilorin, Dr. Ibrahim Kuranga-Suleiman, says some people will react to COVID-19 vaccines, not necessarily because of a previous infection or because the vaccine is faulty.
He noted that some people react badly to some of the ingredients that were used in vaccine manufacturing simply because they are hypersensitive to the components.
He added that some individuals react to the COVID-19 vaccines worse than others because of their health history, body weight and genetic make-up.
Prof. Kuranga-Suleiman spoke in reaction to the Israeli researchers’ preliminary evidence that people previously infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus responded very strongly to one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, regardless of when they were infected and whether or not they had detectable antibodies against COVID-19 before receiving the vaccine.
“The common problems is that they will develop body pain, fever and it will go with time or if they take paracetamol.
“But, since it’s the same quantity they give to both the slim and the fat ones, the fat people will not react badly as much as the slim people will react to the vaccine.
“If the fat people will take it easily, the slim ones may react and have some feverish conditions,” Kuranga said.
According to the researchers at the Bar-Ilan University and Ziv Medical Centre, State of Israel, in a study published in the journal Eurosurveillance, vaccinating individuals with evidence of prior COVID-19 infection leads to a boost response, achieving Immunoglobulin G titres approximately one order of magnitude higher, compared with naïve individuals.
Describing their findings, the scientists stated that, “Interestingly, this was the case in our cohort, regardless of whether SARS-CoV2 N antibodies were detectable or not immediately before vaccination and regardless of the time interval between infection and vaccination.
“Although these results are based on small numbers, i.e. 17 observations, they provide reassurance that the well-documented rapid waning of nucleocapsid IgG antibodies post-acute COVID-19 infection does not necessarily translate to a loss of immunity.
“The boost-like response seen among previously infected individuals in our cohort suggests B-cell-mediated memory immunity is preserved regardless of IgG status.
“Our study confirms recently published evidence suggesting that immune memory persists at least six months post-infection.”
A family medicine physician at the Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, Dr. Erin Morcomb, and head of its COVID-19 vaccination team, says the reactions can vary, based on an individual’s health history.
“What we’ve seen in studies is that the second dose does tend to have a little bit more potential to cause side effects than the first dose, but for people who have had COVID-19 infection previously and then recovered, they are at higher risk of having those same side effects after their first dose,” Morcomb said.
The reason, she explains, is that those who developed the infection previously have an immune system that is already primed to fight it off.
“After they’ve had their COVID-19 active infection, they’ve made some antibodies themselves in their body to the national infection. Then when they get their first dose, their body is already recognizing that they have some antibodies and they can make a really robust immune response to that first dose of vaccine.”
She notes that those who had treatment with monoclonal antibodies need to wait 90 days before getting the vaccine as they can “block the immune system for making a good response to the vaccine.”
Also, Ondo State Epidemiologist, Dr. Stephen Fagbemi, said that people have always been reacting to vaccines, and that such reactions are normal.
“There are different reasons people react to vaccines; there are some people who react to vaccines because of their genetic make-up.
“It’s just that some people don’t eat honey and when they do, they react to it. All human beings are not exactly the same. So, they will be some people who will have mild reactions and we will sort it out but the number is usually small and insignificant,” Fagbemi said.
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