Initial findings from RCTs of the two authorized COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) reported that the vaccines are safe. However, subsequent reports show that the adverse and severe allergic reactions to these vaccines are higher than the general rates for vaccines.
Various regulatory agencies identify the risk for serious allergic reactions as low for the authorized vaccines, and they continue to monitor the vaccines’ safety closely.
Further investigations to make causal relationships with reported severe allergic reactions or deaths are needed.
Risks and benefits of receiving the vaccines should be discussed individually in vulnerable populations including pregnant or breast-feeding women, immunocompromised people, or frail elderly people.
Azizian, A; Groot, G; Mueller, M; Young, C. How safe are the Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations? 2021 Jan 24; Document no.: EOC011901 RR. In: COVID-19 Rapid Evidence Reviews [Internet]. SK: SK COVID Evidence Support Team, c2020. 30 p. (CEST rapid review report)
Vulnerable populations such as those experiencing homelessness are 20 times more likely to be hospitalised due to COVID-19, 10 times more likely to require intensive care for COVID-19 and 5 times more likely to die within 21 days of a positive test for COVID-19
Many organizations advocate for socially vulnerable populations to be considered priority populations due to their oftencomplex health needs and inability to fully execute best practices for infection prevention and control
Past experiences from Hepatitis vaccination (requiring 3 injections) and H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccination indicate that partnering with community organizations to provide vaccinations in shelters, community centers and other frequently accessed places along with education and access to known, trusted healthcare providers greatly increase the uptake of vaccination among socially vulnerable populations
Beyond sheltered populations experiencing homelessness, considerations for equitable vaccination programs for the general population should include plans for accessibility for all, including underserved geographic regions
Badea, A; Reeder, B; Hanson, L; Miller, L; Howell-Spooner, B. What are the vaccination strategies for vulnerable populations? 2021 Mar 12; Document no.: PH030401 RR. In: COVID-19 Rapid Evidence Reviews [Internet]. SK: SK COVID Evidence Support Team, c2020. 33 p. (CEST rapid review report)