Using a Machine Learning Approach to Monitor COVID-19 Vaccine Adverse Events (VAE) from Twitter Data. Academic Article uri icon


  • Social media can be used to monitor the adverse effects of vaccines. The goal of this project is to develop a machine learning and natural language processing approach to identify COVID-19 vaccine adverse events (VAE) from Twitter data. Based on COVID-19 vaccine-related tweets (1 December 2020-1 August 2021), we built a machine learning-based pipeline to identify tweets containing personal experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations and to extract and normalize VAE-related entities, including dose(s); vaccine types (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson); and symptom(s) from tweets. We further analyzed the extracted VAE data based on the location, time, and frequency. We found that the four most populous states (California, Texas, Florida, and New York) in the US witnessed the most VAE discussions on Twitter. The frequency of Twitter discussions of VAE coincided with the progress of the COVID-19 vaccinations. Sore to touch, fatigue, and headache are the three most common adverse effects of all three COVID-19 vaccines in the US. Our findings demonstrate the feasibility of using social media data to monitor VAEs. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to identify COVID-19 vaccine adverse event signals from social media. It can be an excellent supplement to the existing vaccine pharmacovigilance systems.

published proceedings

  • Vaccines (Basel)

altmetric score

  • 1.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Lian, A. T., Du, J., & Tang, L. u.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Lian, Andrew T||Du, Jingcheng||Tang, Lu

publication date

  • January 2022