Side effects: COVID-19 is the problem, not vaccinations

German footballer Joshua Kimmich has sparked a new public debate over the possible side effects of Covid vaccines. Could two doses of Vaxzevria from Astrazeneca or Comirnaty from Biontech/Pfizer have rare and serious yet-to-be-discovered side effects? Researchers in the UK have now evaluated and compared data on the incidence of rare neurological diseases such as Guillain-Barré syndrome: How common are these diseases usually, how common are they among vaccinated people, and how often are they tested for SARS-CoV-2?

An autoimmune reaction can lead to paralysis

Guillain-Barré syndrome is an autoimmune disease, that is, a wrong reaction of the immune system of his body. The so-called autoantibodies damage the myelin layer in the nerve pathways, thus destroying the transmission capacity of these nerves. The result is paralysis. For anyone now in the trade magazine “Nature Medicine” A team led by epidemiologist Julia Hipsley Cox of the University of Oxford evaluated data from patients treated in hospitals for this and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Hippisley-Cox and colleagues filtered three patient groups from the data: 20.4 million people who received a first dose of Vaxzevria (Astrazeneca) within 28 days of diagnosis, 12.1 million people who received Comirnaty (Biontech/Pfizer) once) and about 2. million people who had They tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 a maximum of 28 days ago (of which 1.8 million were not vaccinated at the time of testing).

Minor risks after vaccination: Guillain-Barré syndrome or hemorrhagic stroke

In fact, people who received the Astrazeneca vaccine had a slightly higher (but still rare) risk of developing Guillain-Barré syndrome. For every 10 million people vaccinated, there were 38 more patients in this group than the statistical average for previous years. It also slightly increased (however rare) the so-called Bell’s palsy, a cerebral venous disease often presenting as facial paralysis. It occurred 15 to 21 days after vaccination slightly more frequently than the statistical comparison group, but this difference was no longer significant after 28 days of vaccination.

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