Massive study finds links between COVID-19 vaccination and very rare medical conditions

Researchers have found a link between COVID-19 vaccinations and very rare neurological, heart and blood related medical conditions. 

An international study was conducted on 99 million COVID-19 vaccine recipients and offers new data on vaccine benefits and possible side effects. 

Nevertheless, the researchers on this study and immunology experts still unequivocally support the COVID-19 vaccination program, with the findings translating to an extremely small risk.

COVID is less severe, but elderly still at high risk

“Getting COVID disease increases the risk of these conditions much more than a vaccine,” says Julie Leask a social scientist specialising in immunisation at the University of Sydney. 

“That is why, like with many medicines, we weigh up risks against benefits,” she says.

The research, published in Vaccine, has identified vaccine safety signals for myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), pericarditis (swelling of the thin sac covering the heart), Guillain-Barré syndrome (where the immune system attacks the nerves) and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (a type of blood clot in the brain). A potential new acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (inflammation and swelling in the brain and spinal cord) signal was also detected but requires further investigation. 

“Based on comprehensive data and numerous publications, I firmly advocate that the risk of adverse events remains substantially lower with vaccination compared to contracting SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19),” says Vinod Balasubramaniam a Molecular Virologist at Monash University Malaysia. 

“Considering the scale of vaccination efforts, with 13 billion doses administered and approximately 2,000 reported cases of adverse events, COVID-19 vaccines have contributed significantly to preventing over 19 million deaths globally, including three million in the United States alone.”

“Thus, vaccination remains the vastly safer choice for protecting against COVID-19,” says Balasubramaniam. 

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