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Covid-19 Vaccines & Therapeutics Twitter Surveillance for the Week of Dec 19, 2021

FDA approves the Pfizer and Merck Covid-19 pills while Omicron drives a surge in cases. Ivermectin has the highest volume of tweets, which are a mix of positive and negative sentiment.

There were 19,455 unique tweets. The number of tweets on a given day ranged from 1,289 on Saturday, the 25th to 3,774 on Wednesday, the 22nd. Ivermectin had the most tweets this week with 6,775. Hydroxychloroquine had the fewest tweets this week with 1,048.

Covid-19 in the news this week

  • Concerns over the accelerating spread of the Omicron variant and the upcoming holidays are driving up demand for Covid-19 tests in the U.S.
  • New restrictions are imposed in European counties in order to try and slow the spread of the Omicron variant
  • According to Moderna, lab tests demonstrate that a third shot improves the immune response against the Omicron variant compared to two doses of the Moderna vaccine
  • Covid-19 tracking efforts in the U.S. have waned over the course of the pandemic, hindering efforts to track the Omicron variant
  • In the U.S., the Biden administration plans to distribute 500 million free at-home Covid-19 testing kits
  • The Biden administration also plans to deploy military doctors and nurses to ease overwhelmed hospitals in the U.S.
  • Countries throughout the world are putting into place new travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant spread
  • Data out of Scotland and South Africa suggest that people infected with the Omicron variant are much less likely to be hospitalized compared to earlier variants
  • Pfizer’s Covid-19 pill, which can be taken at home, is cleared for use by the FDA
  • Health experts, business leaders, and governments are questioning the quarantine period for vaccinated people infected with Covid-19, but no longer testing positive
  • The Covid-19 pill by Merck and Ridgeback is cleared for use by the FDA
Worldwide Covid-19 new cases & deaths

worldwide Covid-19 new cases and deaths week of 2021-12-19

Daily sentiment

Net daily sentiment ranged from -28.78 for Remdesivir on Saturday the 25th to 11.09 for Johnson and Johnson vaccine on Friday the 24th.

The sentiment for each tweet is scored from -1 (most negative) to +1 (most positive) using VADER sentiment analysis. Net sentiment is calculated by summing the sentiment across all tweets for a given day and/or category, then normalizing the score by the number of tweets.

daily sentiment for tweets discussin Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics published between 2021-12-19 and 2021-12-25

Medical conditions from the MedDRA dictionary

Infection was the most frequently observed medical condition mentioned. Infection had the highest overall net sentiment of -6.64. Poisoning had the lowest net sentiment this week (-49.03).

medical condition count sentiment
Infection 536 -6.64
Sickness 318 -24.11
Flu 203 -24.11
Inflammation 120 -7.85
Coldness, Cold 105 -9.18
Blindness, Blind 102 -9.45
Fear 101 -29.93
Fever 85 -23.68
Poisoning 81 -49.03
Cancer 80 -45.14

MedDra is a standardized medical terminology developed by the International Council for Harmonization Cross-referencing tweets against this list is a starting point for identifying medical conditions mentioned in tweets.

Cross-referencing the MedDRA dictionary by sentiment and topic

Positive tweets:

There were 561 tweets with an strong positive sentiment. The top 10 most frequent medical conditions mentioned within these tweets were (1) Infection, (2) Sickness, (3) Flu, (4) Blindness, Blind, (5) Coldness, Cold, (6) Worry, (7) Inflammation, (8) Forgetfulness, (9) Fear, (10) Pneumonia. Of these terms, Worry (n=24), Forgetfulness (n=20), Pneumonia (n=15) were not in the top 10 most frequent terms across all tweets.

Meddra conditions associated with positive tweets about Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics published between 2021-12-19 and 2021-12-25

Negative tweets:

There were 968 tweets with an strong negative sentiment. The top 10 most frequent medical conditions mentioned within these tweets were (1) Infection, (2) Sickness, (3) Flu, (4) Poisoning, (5) Cancer, (6) Pneumonia, (7) Fear, (8) Fever, (9) Blindness, Blind, (10) Coldness, Cold. Of these terms, Pneumonia (n=36) were not in the top 10 most frequent terms across all tweets.

Meddra conditions associated with negative tweets about Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics published between 2021-12-19 and 2021-12-25

Word-level analysis

The 25 most important words within positive tweets (compared to negative and neutral) tweets are shown in the treemap below. The size of each box represents the weighted score of each word. The word “doctor” within the search for “Ivermectin” had the highest overall weight. When the words are summed for each topic, Ivermectin had the highest overall weight.

words associated with positive tweets about Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics published between 2021-12-19 and 2021-12-25

The 25 most important words within negative tweets (compared to positive and neutral) tweets are shown in the treemap below. The word “children” within the search for “Monoclonal antibodies” had the highest overall weight. When the words are summed for each topic, “Ivermectin” had the highest overall weight within negative tweets.

words associated with negative tweets about Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics published between 2021-12-19 and 2021-12-25

This analysis of words evaluates the stemmed version of words using the Snowball algorithm. By stemming words, words with similar meaning, such as pain, painful & pained, are grouped together as simply “pain”.

Beta: text classification

Tweets that describe adverse events/side effects (first person point of view)

tweet search topic(s) medical condition(s) mentioned
The Moderna Vaccine,

I had my booster vaccine yesterday at 7pm

I’ve felt shitty allday

Now I’m bed bound with aching bones migraine , high temp

moderna vaccine Ache, Migraine
My first pfizer vaccine was fine, my second gave me a fever and I had my booster expecting another fever and yep awoken at 6am with the chills shaking and feeling nauseous <U+0001F62D>, I’ll be fine in a day just hate the one day of feeling absolutely awful but better than covid pfizer vaccine Chills, Fever, Nauseous, Shaking
Got my Moderna booster after getting the J&amp;J vaccine earlier in the year. Wasn’t too bad of a reaction. Had a really sore arm, slight fever and sore throat the past few days. johnson and johnson vaccine Fever, Sore throat
Funny bc I stuck to comirnaty because I had no reaction for the first two doses apart from slightly sore arm. Luckily same reaction (was recovering from a cold so figured stay same) pfizer vaccine Coldness, Cold
_angie On April 16, 2021 got the J &amp; J vaccine after I had Covid. They recalled it that same day. I was sick for two weeks. November I got my Moderna Booster shot and my side affects were feeling tired and a sore arm. I was fine the third day. johnson and johnson vaccine Sickness
I feel bad for feeling nothing. I had covid a year ago and had a slight cough and was tired for a day or two. J&amp;J vaccine, sore arm and needed a nap. Phizer booster this weekend and I just have the sore shoulder. johnson and johnson vaccine Coughing, Cough, Feeling bad
I had the #Moderna vaccine. Both shots. The first shot was a cakewalk. The second shot for some reason made me feel as if I was going to die. I was going through hot/cold sweats all night. Woke up the next morning, and was fine, just a sore arm for a few days. moderna vaccine Sweating
This Moderna vaccine has made my arm SO sore I actually yelped in pain when I lifted my arm above my head. moderna vaccine Pain
I took the #pfizer vaccine originally and had no side effects. But for my #BoosterJab I got #moderna and HOLY SHIT is this kicking my ass. I feel like I was in a boxing match and lost big time while also having a migraine &amp; a cold <U+0001F623> #ModernaBooster #pfizerbooster #CovidVaccine pfizer vaccine Coldness, Cold, Migraine
So its been around 24 hours since i got the Pfizer vaccine. I want to say what has happened to me in the last 24 hours. So in about 5 mins after i got the vaccine, my hand felt kind of heavy and a little pain in my left hand. So after about 3-4 hours i was unable to move my hand. pfizer vaccine Pain
_A_333 I think it varies from person to person, but mine was not bad!! Got my 1-shot J&amp;J vaccine in April, had some nasty flu-like symptoms for about 36 hours. Got my moderna booster 2 weeks ago, all I had was arm soreness and was just a tad fatigued next day! Then felt great <U+0001F60A> johnson and johnson vaccine Fatigue, Flu, Flu-like symptoms
I got the moderna vaccine, but I get mild to severe side effects with every vaccine I get. However, with this vaccine my side effects have been the mildest they’ve ever been, aside from a slight fever with shot 2. moderna vaccine Fever
I stressed panicked and took ivermectin and I’m having extreme acid reflux I’m so nervous to get Covid and now my chest hurts so bad ivermectin Nervousness, Nervous, Stress
There’s so much unknown, and no reliable followup, reporting and recording of reactions. I had a severe reaction to the 1st Moderna vaccine. WEEKS of achy joints &amp; limbs I can only describe as maybe arthritic, heart palpitations, burning sensation in hands that was unbearable. moderna vaccine Burn, Burning sensation, Palpitations
I got the moderna vaccine and the Pfizer booster yesterday at 2 pm. Moderna 2nd shot knocked me out for a day. I was worried about the Pfizer booster since I hadn’t had Pfizer before and I literally have zero symptoms except a sore arm. It’s so bizarre <U+0001F923> moderna vaccine Worry
I got Pfizer vaccine last week, but I had a bad headache, so I left school early<U+0001F613> pfizer vaccine Headache
Covid positive and so is hubby. We both are double vaccinated and boosted. Mine -Pfizer his Moderna. Symptoms are flu/cold super tired, sore throat, headache. His a lot of chest congestion and and bad cough. He got monoclonal antibodies this afternoon, I’m getting mine tomorrow. monoclonal antibodies Coughing, Cough, Headache, Sore throat
I had the vaccine and after taking the 2nd dose in the end of 07/21, I’ve been sick ever since. It seems to have kicked my inflammation problems in overdrive. I’ve had severe nerve pain and joint pain especially in my hip it’s so bad sometimes I walk with a limp. pfizer vaccine Inflammation, Joint pain, Limping, Nerve pain, Pain, Sickness
I had heart palpitations after my Pfizer vaccine tooLike you the palpitations came out of nowhere.. it woke me up during the night, while at work. etc. I would be feeling ok a minute and the next my heart will start racing and felt faint. pfizer vaccine Faint, Fainting, Felt faint, Palpitations
Update on this: effects of the Pfizer vaccine kicked in last night. Blimey, knocked me sideways. Thought it was food poisoning at first but symptoms matched stories I’ve heard from others. Feel a bit groggy today but guessing it will pass. pfizer vaccine Food poisoning, Groggy, Poisoning

This classifier was trained on a set of tweets manually reviewed and tagged. The classifier was trained using GloVe, a pretrained word embedding layer.


Webpage created in R version 4.1.0 (2021-05-18) and R Studio (Version 1.4.1717) using the following packages: plotly, kableExtra, formattable, treemap, and wordpressr.

  • C. Sievert. Interactive Web-Based Data Visualization with R, plotly, and shiny. Chapman and Hall/CRC Florida, 2020.
  • Hao Zhu (2021). kableExtra: Construct Complex Table with ‘kable’ and Pipe Syntax. R package version 1.3.4.
  • Kun Ren and Kenton Russell (2021). formattable: Create ‘Formattable’ Data Structures. R package version 0.2.1.
  • Martijn Tennekes (2021). treemap: Treemap Visualization. R package version 2.4-3.
  • Simit Patel (2021). wordpressr: An API Wrapper for WordPress Site APIs. R package version 0.1.0.
  • WHO COVID-19 Dashboard. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2020. Available online: https://covid19.who.int/ (last cited: Dec 31, 2021).
  • Hutto, C.J. & Gilbert, E.E. (2014). VADER: A Parsimonious Rule-based Model for Sentiment Analysis of Social Media Text. Eighth International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM-14). Ann Arbor, MI, June 2014.

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