I know, I know: COVID-19 continues to steal the headlines. That’s why I try to take breaks from writing about the topic, myself.
But with the new Delta strain making calls for vaccination even more urgent, I thought I’d share some valuable medical news on the subject.
And then, you can decide what to do with this information…
No serious risks with mRNA vaccines
A first-of-its-kind study showed no serious health risks after vaccination with either of the currently available mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna).
Researchers pulled data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) surveillance system and medical record reviews. The VSD has information from more than 10 million vaccine-eligible people in the U.S. (In fact, I participated in this program through text messages, myself.)
This study used weekly reports from December 2020 through June 2021—covering nearly 12 million vaccine doses, administered to more than six million people. The two mRNA vaccines were distributed nearly evenly, with the Pfizer shot accounting for 57 percent of the vaccinations, and the Moderna shot accounting for 43 percent.
This study looked at a range of serious risks: Acute myocardial infarction, Bell palsy, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, myocarditis/pericarditis, pulmonary embolism, stroke, and thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, among others.
Results showed no links to greater risk of any of these conditions with mRNA vaccination. In the end, serious adverse events were no more common in the first three weeks than they were 42 days later.
This doesn’t mean that there weren’t any adverse events at all, though.
There were 183 potential cases of anaphylaxis, for example—most of which occurred immediately after vaccination. But most of these cases were in people with a history of allergies.
The most rigorous safety study yet
These findings are particularly welcome, since previous research had linked mRNA vaccination with a higher risk of myocarditis/pericarditis among younger recipients in the first week after vaccination. Turns out, that may not be an issue after all.
Granted, we’re only looking at six weeks out here. And this latest study only looked at events that required direct medical intervention. But it’s important to bear in mind that everything about this pandemic is new—meaning you have to start somewhere.
As with anything, the data could change tomorrow. But this latest finding is particularly noteworthy since it used way more data than most studies. In fact, this is probably the most rigorous post-marketing safety study we’ve seen with any drug or vaccine. (Plus, there were no serious safety issues in any of the phase 3 mRNA vaccine trials, either.)
In any event, it’s reassuring news for anyone who has received either of these mRNA vaccines, or who’s thinking of getting one.
Of course, I can’t make that decision for you. So the best I can do is continue sharing this data as it comes out and advocating for vaccination for as long as the pandemic continues.
After all, billions of people around the world are relying on widespread vaccination to help bring an end to this crisis, once and for all. And I urge everyone to do their part. In the meantime, keep your immune health top of mind. I outline my top recommendations in my Complete Guide to Year-Round Immunity. Click here to learn more!
“COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines: No Serious Health Risks in Large Study.” Medscape Medical News, 09/03/2021. (medscape.com/viewarticle/958205)