US study suggests no deaths linked to Covid vaccines

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Wednesday 16th March 2022

A major US study suggests that Covid vaccines are not linked to deaths after vaccination. 

A study into the side-effects of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines indicated that 92% of reported effects were mild. Researchers found that there were no suspicious signs that linked the deaths to the vaccine itself. 

Dr Tom Shimabukuro, lead author of the study, said that the findings of the research were “reassuring.” In the vast majority of cases, side-effects for the two mRNA vaccines are mild and they usually subside 1-2 days after vaccination. 

Researchers analysed ‘adverse events’ linked to almost 300 million vaccines administered in the US between December 2020 and June 2021. Anyone can provide information via the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which is run by the CDC and the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration). Individuals can also use a system called V-Safe to fill in a survey online after their vaccine. 

CDC data suggests that more than 340,000 people had side-effects after vaccination. Over 90% of symptoms were mild. The most common side-effects were headaches, chills, fever and tiredness. More than 22,000 events were classed as serious. The most common was shortness of breath. 

Of the 4,500 deaths reported following vaccination, 80% were in people aged over 60 years old. Older people have a higher “baseline mortality rate” than the general population. Dr David Shay, from the CDC, explained that the mortality trend reflected “similar patterns of death rates for people in this age group following other adult vaccinations.”

Dr Elizabeth Phillips, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University, was not involved in the study, but suggested that the data from VAERS supports CDC findings. VAERS data shows that 1 in 1,000 people who have the vaccines have an adverse reaction, but in most cases, symptoms are mild or moderate. Dr Phillips added that it was “reassuring” to see that there were no “unexpected safety signals.”