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Business News/ Science / Health/  Suffering from heart, brain disorders? Global study links COVID-19 vaccines with 13 medical conditions
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Suffering from heart, brain disorders? Global study links COVID-19 vaccines with 13 medical conditions

The COVID-19 vaccines that emerged as a beacon of hope in the fight against the deadly virus during the pandemic are back in the news again following a new study that has linked the shots to rare brain, heart and blood disorders.

The experts however stressed that the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccination far outweigh the risks. (Photo: AP)Premium
The experts however stressed that the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccination far outweigh the risks. (Photo: AP)

The COVID-19 vaccines that emerged as a beacon of hope in the fight against the deadly virus during the pandemic are back in the news again following a new study that has linked the shots to rare brain, heart and blood disorders, Vaccine, a science journal, reported last week.

The journal reported that researchers from the Global Vaccine Data Network—a research arm of the World Health Organization—found that the COVID-19 vaccines aggravated 13 medical conditions that were considered “adverse events of special interest." 

The study conducted on 99 million vaccinated people from eight countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, New Zealand and Scotland, reported that people who received certain types of mRNA vaccines were found to have a higher risk of myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart muscle.

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The Key Findings

Rare cases of myocarditis—inflammation of the heart—identified in the first, second and third doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines: The highest rate was observed after the second dose of Moderna vaccine (with 6.1 times compared to the expected rates), Forbes reported, citing the study.

Pericarditis (another heart condition):  Up to 6.9 times increased risk of Pericarditis in individuals who received the third dose of AstraZeneca’s vaccine. The study reported 1.7 times and 2.6 times increased risks in recipients of Moderna’s first and fourth doses, respectively. 

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The study also reported a greater risk of developing a rare autoimmune disorder — Guillain-Barre syndrome – among those who took the AstraZeneca shots, and had 3.2 times the risk of getting blood clots.

Disseminated encephalomyelitis: The study also reported a 3.8 times greater risk of developing the neurological disorder acute disseminated encephalomyelitis after taking the Moderna vaccine, and a 2.2-fold increased risk after AstraZeneca’s vaccine.

However, the experts stressed that the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccination far outweigh the risks. They said the likelihood of neurological events or heart inflammation is significantly higher after COVID-19 infection rather than after receiving a COVID-19 shot.

“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," CEO of biotechnology company Centivax Jacob Glanville, who is not involved in the study, told Forbes. 

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Separately, a parallel study on a small group of people (207) conducted by Christian Medical College, Vellore (Tamil Nadu) during the first wave of the pandemic stated that those who survived COVID-19 in India suffered lung and respiratory problems compared to European and Chinese counterparts, reported News 18.

The study pointed out that while most recovered within a year of COVID-19 infection, others had permanent lung damage.

“In a large Indian cohort, we have reported the presence of post-COVID-19 residual lung damage, as assessed by lung function tests, exercise capacity, chest radiography and quality of life measurements. Our population reported relatively higher symptomatology and comorbidities and greater lung function impairment, compared to most published studies. We have shown that post-Covid-19 lung damage results in significant impairment of lung function, quality of life and effort tolerance," said the study.

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Published: 21 Feb 2024, 06:58 PM IST
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