This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to synthesize the evidence on the adverse events (AEs) of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccinations in Saudi Arabia. A computerized search in MEDLINE via PubMed and OVID, Scopus, CENTRAL, and Web of Science was conducted using relevant keywords. The NIH tools were used for the quality assessment. A total of 14 studies (16 reports) were included. The pooled analysis showed that the incidence of AEs post-COVID-19 vaccination was 40.4% (95% CI:6.4% to 87%). Compared to the AstraZeneca vaccine, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was associated with a lower risk ratio (RR) of wheezing (RR = 0.04), fever (RR = 0.32), chills (RR = 0.41), headache (RR = 0.47), dizziness (RR = 0.49), and joint pain (RR = 0.51). The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was associated with significantly higher RR of general allergic reactions (RR = 1.62), dyspnea (RR = 1.68), upper respiratory tract symptoms (RR = 1.71), and lymphadenopathy (RR = 8.32). The current evidence suggests that the incidence of AEs following COVID-19 vaccines is 40%; however, most of these AEs were mild and for a short time. The overall number of participants with AEs was higher in the Pfizer group compared to the AstraZeneca group; however, the AstraZeneca vaccine was associated with a higher RR of several AEs.

  • Eastern Mediterranean
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Adolescents
  • Adults
  • Older adults
  • Vaccine/vaccination
  • COVID-19
  • Safety