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Safety, Tolerability, and Immunogenicity of COVID-19 Vaccines: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

By Ping Yuan, Pu Ai, Yihan Liu, Zisheng Ai, Yi Wang, Weijun Cao, Xiaohuan Xia, Jialin C. Zheng

Posted 04 Nov 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.11.03.20224998

We aimed to summarize reliable medical evidence by the meta-analysis of all published clinical trials that investigated the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of vaccine candidates against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The PubMed, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, and medRxiv databases were used to select the studies. 7094 articles were identified initially and 43 were retrieved for more detailed evaluation. 5 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials were selected. A total of 1604 subjects with either vaccines or placebo infections were included in the meta-analysis within the scope of these articles. According to the results, there is an increase in total adverse events for subjects with either low (95% CI: 1.90-4.29) or high (CI: 2.65-5.63) dose vaccination. The adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccine are mainly local ones including pain, itching, and redness, and no significant difference was identified in the systemic reactions. All adverse effects were transient and resolved within a few days. Moreover, the neutralizing and IgG antibody levels post different dose vaccinations were all significantly increased at day 14/21 (P = 0.0004 and P = 0.0003, respectively) and day 28/35 (P < 0.00001) in vaccine groups compared to placebo controls. Besides, the levels of neutralizing and IgG antibodies were also elevated significantly at from day 14 to 35, versus day 0 (All P < 0.001). In conclusion, our analysis suggests that the current COVID-19 vaccine candidates are safe, tolerated, and immunogenic, which provides important information for further development, evaluation, and clinical application of COVID-19 vaccine.

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