A booster dose after primary COVID-19 vaccination series was considered crucial after the emergence of the B.1.617.2 (Delta) and B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variants. Active surveillance was used to investigate reporting of adverse events post-booster dose of either of the licensed mRNA Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech) or Spikevax (Moderna) vaccines in adult (17 years and older) recipients in central Italy. Eligible participants were enrolled and interviewed via phone using a structured questionnaire. Primary outcomes related to the occurrence of adverse events post-booster were stratified by vaccine, and frequency of local/systemic, mild/moderate/severe events. Of a total of 622 participants interviewed, 554 (89.1%) reported at least one adverse event (88.2% and 92.9% after the Comirnaty or Spikevax vaccine, respectively): 63.4% were female, and 78.5% aged 17 to 64 years, regardless of vaccine. 87.7% and 68.2% of all recipients described at least one local or systemic reaction, respectively: 97.3, 38.6 and 4.7% reported mild, moderate, or severe events, respectively. The most frequent adverse reactions were pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site and fatigue, while malaise and fever significantly occurred after the Comirnaty, and vomiting after the Spikevax booster. Compared to the primary vaccination, lymphadenopathy was more common after the booster (p < 0.001), especially after Comirnaty vaccine. The study findings revealed no serious or unexpected adverse events, and are in agreement with data available on booster dose for both mRNA vaccines. The transient, mild to moderate, and common to very common side reactions reported should be used to reassure potential recipients of the lack of safety concerns.
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