Reports on vaccine side effects increase as inoculation program expands

People are observed for possible side effects after receiving coronavirus vaccines at a vaccination center in Seodaemun District, Seoul, Tuesday. Yonhap

By Lee Hyo-jin

Recent reports on side effects to coronavirus vaccines are prompting concerns over vaccine hesitancy, as inoculations have been largely expanded to the younger population.

Dozens of public petitions have been posted on the Cheong Wa Dae website by internet users claiming to be family members of people suffering from vaccine side effects calling on the government to launch thorough investigations and provide suitable compensation.

On Aug. 27, an internet user wrote that her fiance, a man in his 30s living in Daegu, has been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia about a month after receiving his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

"He was a healthy person with no underlying health conditions. He didn't drink or smoke," read the petition.

According to another petition posted the same day, a man in his 30s working as a taekwondo instructor in Daejeon has also been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia after receiving a Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Regarding such petitions, the KDCA said, "We have reviewed overseas reports and studies, but there have been no reports of leukemia after the COVID-19 vaccine so far. We will comprehensively review such cases in the country and announce the results as quickly as possible."

As of Monday, 171,978 cases of post-vaccination side effects have been reported, of which 95 percent were found to be mild symptoms such as muscle pain and fever, according to the KDCA.

There have been 522 deaths after vaccinations, among which only two cases have been officially acknowledged by the government to have causal links with the vaccines.
Lee Hyo-jin

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