Study reveals rare health conditions linked to COVID-19 vaccines

Instances of myocarditis, which is the swelling of the heart muscle, were identified following the administration of the first, second, and third doses of the mRNA vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Study reveals rare health conditions linked to COVID-19 vaccines
Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle via AP
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COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca have been associated with infrequent instances of cardiovascular, neurological, and hematological conditions, as revealed by the most extensive vaccine research conducted so far.

The Global Vaccine Data Network conducted an analysis on 99 million individuals vaccinated across eight nations, tracking any upticks in 13 health issues, as reported by Bloomberg News.

Published in the journal Vaccine recently, the research indicated a marginal increase in conditions related to the heart, brain, and blood following vaccination.

Instances of myocarditis, which is the swelling of the heart muscle, were identified following the administration of the first, second, and third doses of the mRNA vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

The study also discovered that the risk of pericarditis, an inflammation of the heart's outer lining, surged by 6.9 times in individuals who were administered a third dose of AstraZeneca’s viral-vector vaccine.

In addition, the study found that the first and fourth doses of Moderna's vaccine were associated with a 1.7-fold and 2.6-fold higher risk, respectively.

Furthermore, an elevated risk of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, a type of brain blood clot, was noted with viral-vector vaccines like the one developed by the University of Oxford and produced by AstraZeneca, as reported by Bloomberg.

The research also indicated that individuals who received AstraZeneca's vaccine had a 2.5 times higher chance of developing Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare neurological condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks the nerves.

The researchers detected potential warning signs for transverse myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord, following the administration of viral-vector vaccines. Additionally, instances of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which involves inflammation and swelling in both the brain and spinal cord, were observed after receiving either viral-vector or mRNA vaccines, according to the study findings.

The Global Vaccine Data Network (GVDV) in New Zealand, a research entity affiliated with the World Health Organization, analyzed 13 health conditions deemed to be "adverse events of special interest." Their goal was to spot any occurrences that exceeded the expected number following vaccination.

Since the onset of the pandemic, over 13.5 billion vaccine doses have been distributed globally. A minor fraction of the vaccinated population experienced adverse effects from the vaccines, fueling discussions on the trade-off between the advantages of vaccination and the associated risks.

“The size of the population in this study increased the possibility of identifying rare potential vaccine safety signals,” lead author Kristýna Faksová of the Department of Epidemiology Research, Statens Serum Institut in Denmark, said in a release.

“Single sites or regions are unlikely to have a large enough population to detect very rare signals,” she added.

An expert not associated with the research asserted that the advantages of the vaccines surpass the potential risks.

“The odds of all of these adverse events is still much, much higher when infected with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), so getting vaccinated is still by far the safer choice,” said Jacob Glanville, CEO of Centivaix, in a statement to Forbes.

Dr. Marc Siegel, clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, who was not involved in the study stated: “The massive study and review of the data reveals some rare association of the mRNA vaccines and myocarditis, especially after the second shot, as well as an association between the Oxford Astra Zeneca adenovirus vector vaccines and Guillain-Barre syndrome,” per Fox News Digital.

“But these risks are rare and other studies show that the vaccine decreases the risk of myocarditis from COVID itself dramatically,” he said, noting that all vaccines have side effects.

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