New survey: Four in ten Danes would contact their doctor if they develop fever after COVID-19 vaccination

25 May 2021

Almost four in ten Danes say in a population survey that they would contact their doctor if they develop fever as a side effect after the COVID-19 vaccine jab. Theoretically, this corresponds to up to half a million Danes when everyone has been fully vaccinated.

We know from the vaccine manufacturers’ clinical trials that up to one third of all vaccinated people are likely to experience fever or feverish symptoms after a COVID-19 vaccination. 

Even so, four in ten people say that they would contact their doctor if they develop fever after their COVID-19 vaccine shot, so shows a new population survey conducted by the Danish Medicines Agency in collaboration with the research company Epinion.

The results should be interpreted cautiously due to the fact that the survey was completed in the beginning of April when most had not yet been vaccinated and had not received the information describing these possible mild, transient side effects.

Commenting on the survey, Tanja Erichsen, Director of Pharmacovigilance at the Danish Medicines Agency, says:

“Mild, transient side effects such as fever after COVID-19 vaccination are a typical sign that the body’s defence is reacting to the vaccine, and that the immune system is prepared to defeat the right virus. There is normally no need for you to contact your doctor. However, if you experience serious symptoms after vaccination, you should. This could be allergic reactions such as breathing difficulties or a rash”.

Half a million people to contact their doctor

If 70 percent of the Danes who are not yet vaccinated complete their vaccination, and one third of them develop fever or feverish symptoms – and if 40 percent of this group contact their doctor, doctors can expect to receive up to half a million extra calls in theory.

“These figures should, of course, be interpretated cautiously. But we do think it is a reminder of how important it is that we help each other to spread knowledge about the vaccines’ efficacy and side effects,” says Tanja Erichsen.

The Danish Medicines Agency is now stepping up its information campaign – especially on social media – to inform people about the side effects after COVID-19 vaccination.

The population survey will be repeated every three months until further notice.