Photo/Illutration The mass vaccination center run by the Self-Defense Forces in Tokyo in November (Kaigo Narisawa)

Nearly 90 percent of the acute side effects from COVID-19 vaccines are attributable to mental stress and anxiety, according to a report compiled by the Self-Defense Forces.

The SDF surveyed about 1.2 million people who were inoculated by Sept. 24 at its Tokyo mass vaccination center, which ceased service last month.

Of those, 2,930 people showed side effects within 30 minutes after vaccination. In 88.8 percent, or 2,601 people, blood pressure and pulse dropped due to an event called vasovagal reflex, which is more likely to occur when people feel mental stresses and can cause fainting or dizziness.

“Many people recover from COVID-19 vaccine side effects by just lying down or drinking water,” said Masayuki Miyasaka, professor emeritus of immunology at Osaka University. “This survey data could be used by medical personnel as a reference material in their future vaccination efforts.”

The biggest age group to experience this was 20 to 34, at 947 people. They were followed by 657 people between 35 and 49 years old, then 530 people aged 65 or older, 342 people between 50 and 64, and 114 people who were 19 or younger. The ages of 11 people remain unknown.

Nearly 70 percent who experienced vasovagal reflex were women.

The remaining 329 people had allergic side effects, such as itchiness or a rash. Two had anaphylaxis, or severe allergic reactions. No one experienced critical anaphylactic shock.

“COVID-19 vaccination rarely causes anaphylaxis,” Miyasaka said. “It is known from other studies that many side effects are attributable to the stresses of vaccination.”

He added, “The SDF survey has verified this fact.”